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Sex Transm Infect 89:212-216 doi:10.1136/sextrans-2011-050357
  • Health services research
  • Original article

Community pharmacy and cash reward: a winning combination for chlamydia screening?

  1. Francis J Bowden1,3
  1. 1Academic Unit of Internal Medicine, The Australian National University Medical School, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia
  2. 2Discipline of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia
  3. 3Canberra Sexual Health Centre, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia
  4. 4Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  5. 5Centre for Women's Health, Gender and Society, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marian J Currie, Research Program Manager, Academic Unit of Internal Medicine, ANU Medical School, Building 4, Level 2, Canberra Hospital, PO Box 11, Woden, ACT 2606, Australia; marian.currie{at}act.gov.au
  • Accepted 24 September 2012
  • Published Online First 23 October 2012

Abstract

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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