Preferred strategies of men and women for managing chlamydial infection


Dr L Melvin, Lothian Family Planning and Well Woman Services, 18 Dean Terrace, Edinburgh EH4 1NL, UK. Email


Objectives  To determine men and women’s preferred strategies for managing chlamydial infection: partner notification (patient referral), postal testing kit (PTK) or patient-delivered partner medication (PDPM).

Design  Interviewer-conducted questionnaires (women) and anonymous, self-administered questionnaires (men).

Population  Women infected with chlamydia who were participating in a randomised study assigning partners to patient referral, PTK or PDPM. Men attending genitourinary medicine, family planning and fracture clinics in Edinburgh.

Methods  Men and women were asked their preferred strategy for testing/treating sexual partners (patient referral, PTK or PDPM) if they or their partner had a positive chlamydia test. Women were also asked the reasons for their choice and whether partners were satisfied with the intervention received.

Main outcome measures  Reported preferences of men and women for testing/treating partners.

Results  Response rates were 97 and 81% for the women’s questionnaires at study entry and 6 months, respectively, and 81% for the men’s questionnaires. Of 174 women responding, 67% preferred PDPM for partners and 57% would prefer PDPM for themselves. The main reasons were that PDPM allows simpler, more convenient and faster treatment. Women reported that 65% of partners were satisfied with whichever intervention they received. Of 293 men responding, 70% would choose patient referral for partners and 53% would prefer patient referral for themselves. Men previously tested for chlamydia were significantly more likely to choose PDPM (n = 22) than those never tested (n = 7); P < 0.001. Only 3% of women and 9% of men preferred PTKs for partners.

Conclusion  The results suggest that women prefer PDPM and men, at least hypothetically, prefer patient referral. PTK appears unpopular with both sexes.