We assessed the impact of text messaging as the preferred method of communicating positive Chlamydia trachomatis test results in an urban sexual health clinic. Following the introduction of a text messaging service to communicate positive C trachomatis test results to patients, the time between test and treatment in 293 consecutive patients was compared with 303 historic controls. No significant difference was found in either median time to treatment for all patients (3 days in 2005; 4 days in 2007) or median time to treatment (both 7 days) for those not treated immediately. There was no significant difference in time to treatment between those using a landline or mobile phone. Mobile phone use was significantly higher in 2007. Overall, we treated more cases within 4 weeks in 2007 (98.6% cf 96%). The lack of difference in time to treatment showed the use of this technology is as effective as more traditional means of communication. The increase in cases of C trachomatis treated within 4 weeks may reflect the significant increase in mobile phone use and improved ability to contact people rather than simply the introduction of text messaging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Efficacious behavioral interventions and practices have not been universally accepted, adopted, or diffused by policy makers, administrators, providers, advocates, or consumers. Biomedical innovations for sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV prevention have been embraced but their effectiveness is hindered by behavioral factors. Behavioral interventions are required to support providers and consumers for adoption and diffusion of biomedical innovations, protocol adherence, and sustained prevention for other STDs. Information and communication technology such as the Internet and mobile phones can deliver behavioral components for STD/HIV prevention and care to more people at less cost.
Recent innovations in STD/HIV prevention with information and communication technology-mediated behavioral supports include STD/HIV testing and partner interventions, behavioral interventions, self-management, and provider care. Computer-based and Internet-based behavioral STD/HIV interventions have demonstrated efficacy comparable to face-to-face interventions. Mobile phone STD/HIV interventions using text-messaging are being broadly utilized but more work is needed to demonstrate efficacy. Electronic health records and care management systems can improve care, but interventions are needed to support adoption.
Information and communication technology is rapidly diffusing globally. Over the next 5-10 years smart-phones will be broadly disseminated, connecting billions of people to the Internet and enabling lower cost, highly engaging, and ubiquitous STD/HIV prevention and treatment support interventions.
Current opinion in psychiatry 03/2010; 23(2):139-44. DOI:10.1097/YCO.0b013e328336656a · 3.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Repeated genital infections with Chlamydia trachomatis are common and associated with serious adverse reproductive sequelae in women such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. Retesting for repeat chlamydial infection is recommended 3 months after treatment for an initial infection; however, retesting rates in various settings are low. In order to design interventions to increase retesting rates, understanding provider barriers and practices around retesting is crucial. Therefore, in this survey of family planning providers we sought to describe: (1) knowledge about retesting for chlamydia; (2) attitudes and barriers toward retesting; (3) practices currently utilized to ensure retesting, and predictors associated with their use.
We conducted a cross-sectional, self-administered, Internet-based survey of a convenience sample of family planning providers in California inquiring about strategies utilized to ensure retesting in their practice setting. High-intensity strategies included chart flagging, tickler (reminder) systems, follow-up appointments, and phone/mail reminders.
Of 268 respondents, 82% of providers reported at least 1 barrier to retesting, and only 44% utilized high-intensity interventions to ensure that patients returned. Predictors associated with use of high-intensity interventions included existence of clinic-level retesting policies (OR 3.95, 95% CI 1.98-7.88), and perception of a high/moderate level of clinic priority toward retesting (OR 3.75, 95% CI 2.12-.6.63).
Emphasizing the importance of retesting to providers through adoption of clinic policies will likely be an important component of a multimodal strategy to ensure that patients are retested and that provider/clinic staff take advantage of opportunities to retest patients. Innovative approaches such as home-based retesting with self-collected vaginal swabs and use of cost-effective technologies to generate patient reminders should also be considered.
Journal of Women's Health 06/2010; 19(6):1139-44. DOI:10.1089/jwh.2009.1648 · 2.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We examined the number and proportion of persons retesting and reinfected with Chlamydia and/or gonorrhea 3 to 4 months after initial infection in one New York City sexually transmitted disease clinic using a reminder postcard compared to clinics not using this reminder. Retesting increased; however, the proportion reinfected was lower during the intervention.
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