Objectives: To assess differences in provider willingness to screen all sexually active male and female adolescents for chlamydia and to determine whether concerns about cost effectiveness of screening are related to provider willingness to screen for chlamydia.
Methods: All primary care providers in a managed care organisation self administered a survey about screening all sexually active adolescents for chlamydia.
Results: Respondents were 217 physicians (MDs) and 121 nurse practitioners (NPs) or physician assistants (PAs). Excluding obstetrician/gynaecologists, more providers were willing to routinely screen adolescent females than males for chlamydia (67% v 49% respectively; p<0.001). Independent predictors of provider willingness to screen both males and females included belief that routine screening is cost effective and being a NP/PA v an MD. Belief that chlamydia screening is easier in females than males independently predicted less willingness to screen males.
Conclusion: Information that reduces provider concern about the cost effectiveness of screening may increase provider willingness to screen adolescents for chlamydia. Availability of urine based tests may reduce provider beliefs that females are easier to screen than males and increase chlamydia screening in males.
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Presented at The Scientific Meeting of the Society for Adolescent Medicine in San Diego, California, 21–25 March 2001 at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center.