Chlamydia screening of adolescent and young adult women by general practice physicians in Toronto, Canada: Baseline survey data from a physician education campaign

McKay, Deborah Alex; Ashem, Michele
September 2007
Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality;2007, Vol. 16 Issue 3/4, p63
Academic Journal
The current study surveyed primary care physicians to gather information on their testing practices for Chlamydia trachomatis among 15- to 24-year-old young women and to identify factors associated with their likelihood of doing such testing. The Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infections (PHAC, 2006) recommend routine testing of all sexually active women in this age group and some prior sexual health assessment interviewing is therefore needed as well. Respondents were 251 physicians (52% male; 48% female) practicing in Toronto who worked predominantly in general/family practice and/or walk-in clinics. When asked about their likelihood of recommending Chlamydia testing for 15- to 24-years-olds in different contexts or types of visit, over 90% said they would do so if the patient asked, about half would do so in annual checkups or as an add on to a Pap test, but only 3% said they would do so in visits for other reasons. This suggests situational rather than routine assessment and testing, which was also reflected in actual self-reported practices in the past month. Female physicians did sexual health assessment and Chlamydia testing in a greater percentage of visits than male physicians. Physicians endorsed few barriers to offering Chlamydia testing except for "not having enough time" (31.5% of respondents). Possible explanations of the findings and applications to professional education and support are discussed.


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