Innovative Resources Could Help Improve Partner Notification for Chlamydia in Primary Care

General practitioners (GPs) in Australia support a wide range of possible resources to improve partner notification for chlamydia, the current report shows.

The researchers undertook this study to examine the practices of GPs in relation to partner notification for chlamydia and to identify resources these physicians would find most helpful. Between August and December 2007, GPs from several jurisdictions across Australia were randomly selected from a national database and invited to take part in a postal survey. Of 521 eligible GPs, 234 (45 percent) completed a questionnaire.

Of respondents, 223 (95 percent) felt it was their role to discuss partner notification with patients diagnosed with chlamydia. Only 105 (45 percent), however, were sure how best to assist their patients with this. The results indicated considerable variation in the way partner notification was undertaken, including how far back in time GPs recommended contacting partners.

The GPs considered numerous resources useful, including web-based support for patients (90 percent), informational printouts generated by practice software when chlamydia is diagnosed (90 percent), printed information packs for patients (85 percent), a website to assist GPs (80 percent) and referral to these websites via positive lab results (85 percent). Among respondents, 43 percent said they currently offer patient-delivered partner therapy for chlamydia.

"GPs want and need greater guidance and resources to assist them with partner notification for chlamydia," the authors concluded. "Resources utilizing the Internet and practice software and mechanisms where GPs are automatically directed to these when chlamydia is diagnosed have wide appeal and the potential to improve the effectiveness of partner notification for chlamydia."