Introduction Partner Notification (PN) can be made more effective if source patients are receptive to the method of PN. With increased mobile and internet connectivity, we carried out a survey to find out if our patient’s preference towards PN had changed.
Methods A self-administered survey was carried out on clinic attendees over 4 weeks in February 2014. Respondents were asked about their preference for each PN method on a modified 4 point Likert scale.
Results A total of 416 completed survey forms were collected. The demographics of the respondents were consistent with the average clinic demographic: 74%(n = 307) were male, 26% (n = 109) were female. 71.6% were heterosexual, 23.6% were homosexual, and 4.8% bisexual. 90.5% had access to an Iphone/Android or both.
If diagnosed with an STI, respondents rated the following methods as good/very good: Self notification (84.3%), Phone call by clinic (52.4%), SMS from clinic (46.4%), Email sent by clinic (29.6%), Letter sent by clinic (22.3%).
If their partners had an STI, respondents rather the following PN methods as good/very good: Self notification (88.7%), Phone call by clinic (54.1%), SMS from clinic (48.8%), Email sent by clinic (29.5%), Letter sent by clinic (21.9%).
Subgroup analyses found that significantly more respondents aged below 32 years preferred SMS (52.6% vs. 42.2%, p = 0.039). MSM respondents significantly preferred email as a PN method compared to heterosexual respondents (41.5% vs. 26.5%, p = 0.03).
Conclusion Despite the advent of mobile connectivity, self-notification remains the most popular form of PN in our clinic attendees similar to the previous studies conducted in the United Kingdom. Respondents were also receptive to SMS PN, especially in younger age groups. This information would allow us to better allocate resources (e.g. provide an SMS messaging platform) and tailor PN methods according to age groups, sexual preference.
Disclosure of interest statement The authors report no conflict of interest in this study. The department of STI Control Clinic is funded by Ministry of Health, Singapore. No pharmaceutical grants were received in the development of this study.