Introduction Umbrella Health recently introduced sexually transmitted infections (STI) home testing kits for asymptomatic adults from Birmingham and Solihull. An audit was undertaken to consider patient demographics, service utility and effectiveness.
Methods All patients registering for home testing kits between 1st– 10th March 2016 were included. Patient demographics, results and follow up were accessed from the laboratory and clinical database. Data was compared with a clinic comparator group of 50 randomly selected patients attending clinic during the same timeframe. Statistics were performed using Microsoft Excel.
Results 536 patients were included of which 331(61.7%) were female. 103(19%) of patients were symptomatic. 536(100%) of requested kits were distributed. 280(52%) nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) and 209(39%) blood samples were returned. 86(41%) returned blood samples were insufficient for analysis. 25(100%) patients with a positive result were informed via text. 10(40%) attended for treatment. 3(30%) agreed to contact tracing. Compared with the clinic attendees, users were younger (60% 16-24yrs cf 28%), more likely to be Caucasian (73% cf 44%), with lower rates of STIs (4.7% vs 16%). 16–24-year-old Caucasian females accounted for 17.5%(N=94) of the home-testing group.
Discussion Home STI testing kits are popular with 536 distributed with 10days. Patients requesting kits were more likely to be asymptomatic, younger, Caucasian and female with lower rates of STIs. Return rates may be improved by provision of a STI fact sheet and lancet change. Linkage of laboratory and clinical databases may improve governance. Low treatment rates need further investigation.