Socio-demographic and structural barriers to being tested for chlamydia in general practice

Andrew Lau, Simone Spark, Jane Tomnay, Meredith Temple-Smith, Christopher Kit Fairley, Rebecca Jane Guy, Basil J Donovan, Jane Simone Hocking

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Objectives: To investigate socio-demographic and structural factors associated with not providing a specimen for chlamydia testing following a request by a general practitioner.

Design, setting and participants: Cross-sectional analysis of chlamydia testing data for men and women aged 16-29 years attending general practice clinics participating in a cluster randomised controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of a chlamydia testing intervention. The study period was the 2013 calendar year.

Outcome: The proportion of chlamydia test requests for which the patient did not provide a specimen for testing.Results: During the study period, there were 13 225 chlamydia test requests, for which a chlamydia test was not performed in 2545 instances (19.2%; 95% CI, 16.5-22.3%). Multivariate analysis indicated that the odds for not undertaking a requested test were higher for men (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.4; 95% CI, 1.3-1.6), those aged 16-19 years (aOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4), those living in areas of greater socio-economic disadvantage (aOR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4 for each additional quintile of Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage), and those attending clinics without on-site pathology collection (aOR, 1.4; 95%CI, 1.0-1.9).

Conclusion: One in five young people did not submit a specimen for chlamydia testing despite their GP requesting it. This highlights the need for clinics to establish systems which ensure that men and those aged 16-19 years undertake chlamydia tests requested by a GP.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112
Pages (from-to)e1-e5
Number of pages5
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016

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