Objectives To date, the uptake of chlamydia screening in community pharmacies has been limited. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to determine if a cash reward, offered to both the provider and the consumer of chlamydia screening, increased the uptake of screening in community pharmacies.
Methods During 4 weeks in 2011, chlamydia screening and education were offered in four city and two suburban pharmacies to people aged 16–30 years. Those who provided a urine sample for testing, contact details, and completed a brief questionnaire were rewarded with $A10. Positive participants, and their nominated contacts, were offered treatment.
Results Over a period of 751.5 h, 979 testing kits were requested, and 900 (93%) urine samples returned. Using probabilistic linkage methods, we determined that 671/900 (75%) urine samples were from unique individuals. 0.9 unique samples were obtained/hour of screening, 63% of which were provided by men. 19/671 (2.8%; 95% CI 1.7% to 4.4%) people tested positive, 5.2% (95% CI 2.8% to 8.8%) of women, and 1.4% (1.4 0.5 to 3.1) of men. 11/19 (58%) people were contacted and treated—two for suspected pelvic inflammatory disease.
Conclusions Providing a cash reward to encourage chlamydia screening in community pharmacies resulted in greater participation rates than previously reported pharmacy-based studies, particularly among men. Easily implemented mechanisms to reduce inappropriate repeat screening, incorrect contact details and effects on pharmacy work flow may enhance the efficiency of this approach.
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