Introduction After evaluation of an internet-based partner notification (PN) system for verified diagnoses of STI/HIV, that uses an index-chosen method per partner (email, text messaging; (non-)anonymous) in STI clinics,1 we started a pilot project with General practitioners (GP) with www.partnerwaarschuwing.nl. The webtool includes training tools for GPs and practice assistants performing STI consultations and video instructions for patients.
Our aim was to evaluate the use of the webtool by GP practices as compared to STI clinics.
Methods We evaluated use of the web tool by GPs in the pilot project from April 2014 – March 2015. Numbers of created codes per professional, and numbers/method of sent notifications as well as login’s by notified partners were extracted from the notification database.
Results 18/78 (23%) professionals in GP practice who had applied for the pilot project during the year actually used the webtool. Also the Rotterdam and Amsterdam Public Health STI clinics used the webtool. 137 index-clients received a code by 18 professionals in GP practice (11 GPs, 7 practice assistants); mean number of codes provided 7.6/0.75 year. 80% of the codes were provided by practice assistants. Of the GP’s patients who received a code, 15% (21) notified contacts and sent 48 notifications (mean 2.3), 73% by text messaging and 27% by email. For 1010 STI clinic patients these numbers were 30% (300), 961 notifications (mean 3.2), 95% by text messaging. Of all notifications 86% was sent anonymously. Sixty-four percent of the partners notified checked their notification at the website (GP patient: 52% [25/48] versus STI clinic 65% [622/961].
Conclusion PN in GP practice is challenging. Improvement of PN in GP practice can be assisted by this webtool, especially in STI consultations by practice assistants. Further analysis of constraints for PN are ongoing to develop a multifaceted implementation strategy and strengthen PN in general practice.
Disclosure of interest statement This study was financed by ZonMW (project number 50–51515–98–243) and Stichting Coolsingel. No pharmaceutical grants were received in the development of this study.
Gotz HM, van Rooijen MS, Vriens P, et al. Initial evaluation of use of an online partner notification tool for STI, called ‘suggest a test’: a cross sectional pilot study. Sex Transm Infect. 2014;90(3):195–200