Background The National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) aims to prevent and control chlamydia through detection and treatment of infection. The NCSP recommends that under 25 year-olds test annually, upon change of partner and re-test three months after treatment. Healthcare professionals’ (HCP) knowledge of and adherence to NCSP guidance is unknown.
Aims To establish HCPs’ knowledge of and adherence to NCSP testing guidance, among those working in genitourinary medicine (GUM) and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in England.
Methods Participants were invited through the BASHH newsletter and snowball sampling to complete an online survey (December 2015 to February 2016).
Results One hundred HCPs responded (82 medics, 17 nurses, 1 health adviser). Twelve percent knew the NCSP age limits (15–24 years). Among respondents, 25% identified screening criteria for annual testing, 70% for testing on change of partner, 59% for re-test following a positive and 16% identified all three screening criteria. Of those who correctly identified screening criteria, 75% would always do it in practice, 19% sometimes and 2% never. Of those who did not recognise screening criteria, 41% would still always screen appropriately in practice; 34% sometimes; 10% never.
Discussion Knowledge of NCSP testing guidelines among healthcare providers was variable. While knowledge of NCSP was associated with testing in accordance with recommendations, knowledge did not automatically lead to adherence to testing recommendations. These findings will help to inform future development and dissemination of NCSP guidance.
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