February 14, 2011
Despite providers' enthusiasm to engage in sexually transmissible infection (STI) management, partner notification in primary care settings "is problematic and of limited effectiveness," the authors noted. "Innovative partner notification strategies must be relevant to the primary care context."
In the current study, the researchers sought to explore the opinions of general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses on the acceptability and feasibility of Accelerated Partner Therapy (APT), a new form of partner notification developed in the specialist setting for sex partners diagnosed with a bacterial STI in general practice. APT refers to strategies that reduce time for sex partners to be treated; it includes partner assessment by appropriately qualified health care professionals, and here involved telephone and pharmacy assessment. The researchers conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of GPs and practice nurses in East London.
The results showed that all the participants appreciated the importance of partner notification in STI management and felt that APT would improve their practice. They also supported prioritizing antibiotic provision for the sex partner with the stipulation of future comprehensive STI testing. Both models were found to be acceptable and feasible; however, most respondents preferred the sexual health clinic telephone assessment over the pharmacy model.
"GPs and practice nurses welcome new strategies for partner notification and believe APT could provide rapid and convenient treatment of sex partners in general practice," the authors concluded. "This supports further evaluation of APT models as a partner notification strategy in primary care."
01.2011; Vol. 8; No. 1: P. 17-22; Thomas Shackleton, Lorna Sutcliffe, Claudia Estcourt
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