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The legal status of PDPT strongly impedes uptake among family planning clinicians in Australia

The legal status of PDPT strongly impedes uptake among family planning clinicians in Australia

Patient delivered partner therapy (PDPT) is an important strategy for the control of chlamydia, yet only one jurisdiction in Australia has legalised the practice. We assessed the uptake of PDPT among clinicians working at Family Planning clinics (FPCs) and predictors of its use.

Methods: A cross sectional online survey of doctors and nurses working in Australian FPCs was conducted in May-June 2012. Logistic regression was used to assess factors associated with PDPT use.

Results: A total of 168 clinicians working at Australian FPCs participated in the survey (79% response rate). Over 80% saw PDPT as clinically beneficial in various ways. Sixty five per cent (n=100) of clinicians reported never using PDPT. There were 54 (35%) clinicians who reported ever using PDPT, 25% used it ‘sometimes’, and 10% used it ‘half the time’/’usually’/‘always’. In multivariate analysis, the following factors were independently associated with ever using PDPT: doctors compared to nurses (adjusted odds ratio(AOR):15.1,95%CI:4.9-46.2); over 5 years experience in reproductive and sexual health (AOR:5.25,95%CI:1.2–22.2); lower likelihood of encouraging clients to tell their partner to see a doctor (AOR:5.3:95%:1.5-18.4) and higher likelihood of following up with clients to check partner notification had been undertaken (AOR:9.8,95%CI:2.8–34.8). PDPT use was lower among clinicians who had concerns about PDPT’s legal status (AOR:0.16,95%CI:0.06-0.48). Other common concerns which were not statistically associated with PDPT use were: potential for allergic reaction; partner not receiving testing/treatment; partner may have another sexually transmitted infection not treated by antibiotic, missed opportunities for partner counselling.

Conclusion: PDPT was used by clinicians at FPCs, but not systematically. Uptake was greater among doctors and those with extensive experience in sexual and reproductive health. Although the vast majority of clinicians acknowledged the benefits of PDPT, concern about its legal status was a major impediment to the uptake of the strategy.

Speakers: Joanne Micallef
Areas of Interest / Categories: AIDS 2015

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