Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Routine screening for chlamydia in sexually active females under the age of 25 is recommended but little is known about actual criteria that physicians use to screen. Even less is known about strategies for providing treatment to sex partners.
To determine criteria used by resident physicians for chlamydia testing at a teaching hospital and explore strategies used for partner services.
Resident physicians from the University of Kansas Medical Center were surveyed at mandatory resident conferences.
56 of 57 surveys distributed were collected. Of residents surveyed, only 45% routinely screened sexually active patients for chlamydia. 57% responded that they did not test asymptomatic patients. Only 24% believed that their patients' sexual partners were treated.
Routine screening for chlamydia in sexually active women under the age of 25 is recommended. However, only 45% of residents complied with this protocol. We hypothesized that a majority of sexual partners are not treated and our survey confirms that providers do not believe partners are adequately notified or treated. This lack of partner notification and treatment could contribute to the high prevalence of the infection and important sequelae.
Our study suggests that rates of both screening and partner notification are low. Further research with a larger sample of physicians may support these conclusions. The study also suggests that programs targeting physicians that are designed to increase screening rates and create standards for partner notification could decrease chlamydia prevalence and serious sequelae.