Background/Introduction The National Chlamydia Screening Programme in England aims to reduce transmission and prevent complications through early diagnosis. The ‘Value for Money’ review proposed opportunistic screening in general practice supported by specialist services.
Aims/Objectives To evaluate the effect of practice visits upon chlamydia screening coverage and case identification in young people aged 15–24 in Oxfordshire, April 2012–March 2014.
Methods Quarterly counts of total screens and positive tests for general practices in Oxfordshire were linked to records of practice visits (date, attendance) and characteristics of practices (location, deprivation, practice size). Testing and positivity rates three months prior to screening officer visits (baseline) were compared to rates in the 0–3 and 4–6 months following a visit. Pre- and post-visit counts were compared using multivariate generalised estimating equation models, accounting for repeated measures by practices and confounders.
Results Practice screen counts were available for 136 periods before and after visits to 81 practices. Practices reported a median of 9 tests in the 3 months prior to visits or 3% screening coverage of registered 15–24 year olds. Screen counts were significantly higher following visits (Table 1), and positively associated with higher staff attendance at those visits. Also, there is an increase in number of positive cases diagnosed immediately after visits.
Conclusion Practice visits serve as a good reminder for staff in general practice to offer test opportunistically. However, there is a need for an enhanced intervention to sustain any increase in screening coverage and diagnoses following visit.
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