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General practitioners’ knowledge and attitudes to contact tracing for genital Chlamydia trachomatis infection in North Queensland

Authors


Correspondence to:
Dr Clare Heal, 10 Sunset Beach Court, Shoal Point, Mackay, Queensland 4750. Fax: (07) 4968 6639; e-mail: clare.heal@jcu.edu.au

Abstract

Introduction: Most diagnoses of genital chlamydia infection in Queensland are made by general practitioners (GPs). This study aimed to assess GP attitudes to and knowledge of contact tracing in rural North Queensland.

Method: A single page questionnaire mailed to a database of 65 GPs in May 2007

Results: Nearly all respondents (42/43, 97.7%) ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ told patients to advise their contacts to seek medical treatment. More than half (24/44, 54.5%) felt that contact tracing was ‘sometimes’ or ‘never’ the responsibility of GPs. Around half of respondents (19/39, 48.7%) thought that the local public health unit staff were conducting contact tracing, which is not actually the case.

Conclusion: There is lack of clarity surrounding the respective roles and responsibilities of sexual health units, public health units and GPs regarding contact tracing for chlamydia infection.

Implications: GPs would benefit from education clarifying current contact tracing procedures, methods and resources.

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