Willingness of gynaecologists, doctors in family planning, GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists to adopt novel interventions for treating sexual partners of women with chlamydia


Dr ST Cameron, Dean Terrace Family Planning and Well Woman Services, NHS Lothian, 18 Dean Terrace, Edinburgh EH4 1NL, UK. Email sharon.cameron@ed.ac.uk


Objective  To determine willingness of health professionals to adopt new interventions for treating sexual partners of women with chlamydia.

Design  Anonymous, self-administered questionnaires of doctors, practice nurses and community pharmacists regarding novel testing/treatment options for partners of women with chlamydia.

Setting  Local (Scotland) and national (UK) clinical meetings in reproductive health, and community pharmacy (Lothian).

Population  Doctors (general practice, gynaecology, family planning) and practice nurses who were delegates at selected meetings in reproductive health and community pharmacists attending pharmacy meetings.

Methods  Doctors and nurses were invited to complete a questionnaire indicating their preferred strategy for testing/treating sexual partners of women with chlamydia if given choice of partner notification, postal testing kit (PTK), patient delivered partner medication (PDPM) with azithromycin or combined PDPM and PTK. Community pharmacists were invited to complete a questionnaire regarding their willingness to introduce chlamydia testing and treatment services.

Main outcome measures  Reported preferences of doctors and nurses for partner testing/treatment strategies and willingness of pharmacists to offer new services.

Results  Questionnaires were completed by 211 doctors, 73 practice nurses and 50 pharmacists. The most popular choice of doctors (30%) and nurses (23%) was a combination of PDPM with PTK, with partner notification the least popular (8 and 3%, respectively). One in four doctors had previously used PDPM for treating partners. Most pharmacists were willing to supply free PTKs (98%), offer testing (75%) and treatment services (100%) and give women PDPM for partners (80%).

Conclusion  Relevant health professionals, who are increasingly involved in managing chlamydia, are largely in favour of introducing new strategies for treating sexual partners.