Background: The Infertility Prevention Project in Region I funded since 1995 to support selective screening for chlamydia of sexually active young women under 25. Despite a long history of advocating for targeted screening, reasons for non-adherence to screening criteria among providers has remained unclear.
Objectives: To explore whether reasons for non-adherence to screening criteria were based on lack of awareness of the screening criteria, lack of buy-in, documentation of risk factors, estimation of risk, or other structural barriers to adhering to screening criteria. To identify possible opportunities for improved resource allocation to decrease unnecessary screening and improve delivery of services to those most at need.
Methods: Key informant interviews with providers were conducted and a survey tool was developed and reviewed by the IPP Advisory Board. An online survey was conducted (n=302) of clinical staff and providers at STD, Family Planning, and other publicly funded clinics from all 6 New England states offering chlamydia screening as part of their clinical services.
Results: Preliminary findings indicate a low level of awareness, including knowledge of the CDC Screening Criteria, regional activities around chlamydia screening, and IPP. Only 45% of respondents correctly identified the “true” CDC screening criteria and 40% of providers responded they “did not know” if EPT is legal in their state. Responses identify opportunities for improved communication and clear policy development around screening, re-screening, and expedited partner therapy.
Conclusions: The findings of the assessment indicate an opportunity for improved adherence to screening criteria through education and awareness.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: Adherence to screening criteria and screening coverage for the highest risk age range have been improving slowly over time, but there is still a significant gap between the recommendations and the patients actually screened. Increasing awareness of and support for CDC screening improve efficiency of chlamydia screening by reaching the population most at risk.