Objective: To assess any impact of text messaging as the preferred method of communicating positive Chlamydia trachomatis test results to patients in an urban sexual health clinic.
Methods: Following the introduction of a text-messaging service to communicate positive Chlamydia trachomatis test results to patients, the time between test and treatment in 293 consecutive patients was compared to 303 historic controls.
Results: No significant difference was found in either median time to treatment for all patients (3 days in 2005, 4 days in 2007) or median time to treatment (both 7 days) for those not treated immediately. There was no significant difference in time to treatment between those using a landline or mobile phone. Mobile phone use was significantly higher in 2007. Overall, we treated more cases within 4 weeks in 2007 (98.6% c.f. 96%).
Conclusions: The lack of difference in time to treatment showed the use of this technology is as effective as more traditional means of communication. The increase in cases treated within 4 weeks may reflect the significant increase in mobile phone use and improved ability to contact people, rather than simply the introduction of text messaging.
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