Background: Prior research has demonstrated the favorable acceptance by young adults to online ordering of STD collection kits and demonstrated improved health seeking behaviors among those who received tailored messaging. No results have been published that evaluate the effects of tailored messaging on rates of uptake and completion for on-line STD testing among asymptomatic college students.
Objectives: Evaluate rates of STD infection chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichcomoniasis identified in three asymptomatic participant populations: 1) tailored messaging web-based online test ordering, 2) generic online test ordering, and 3) health center volunteers seeking STD screening.
Methods: Triangulate prevalence data from randomized controlled trial conducted to compare tailored versus generic messaging and risk assessment prior to student initiated request for on-line STD test order with retrospective health center prevalence data captured during routine clinic screening visits. Participants in randomized trial are assigned to tailored condition or a non-tailored generic condition. Following completion of risk assessment and intervention or generic content study participants are then provided a link to order a free STD screening kit. Univariate/multivariate analyses will be conducted on data from prospective study and matched existing student health center records system .
Results: Enrollment in randomized control study for 1,000 participants opens October 24, 2011. Results for preliminary infection rates and behavioral intentions are anticipated by January 2012.
Conclusions: Past pilot campus studies reported rates of 10% - chlamydia, and 3-5% - gonorrhea. Study will provide the first population based screening information among males and females for trichcomoniasis. Interprofessional collaboration between researchers, university health center and department of health has supported development of sustainable pathway to increase individual student STD health seeking behaviors and population-level impact for STD control.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and Research: Innovative online ordering and tailored messaging may support student initiated screening ,improve uptake of STD screening, and expand disease identification/treatment among college students.