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Physicians’ opinions about partner notification methods: case reporting, patient referral, and provider referral
  1. M Hogben1,
  2. J S St Lawrence1,
  3. D E Montaño2,
  4. D Kasprzyk2,
  5. J S Leichliter1,
  6. W R Phillips2
  1. 1Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Seattle, WA, USA
  2. 2Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation, Seattle, WA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Matthew Hogben
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mail Stop E-44, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA;


Background: The United States has relied upon partner notification strategies to help break the chain of infection and re-infection for sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Physicians are a vital link in the system of STD control, but little is known of physician opinions about partner notification strategies.

Methods: We collected opinions about partner notification from a national probability sample of physicians in specialties diagnosing STDs. Physicians responded to 17 questions about three relevant forms of STD partner notification: patient based referral, provider based referral, and case reporting.

Results: Exploratory factor analyses showed that responses for each form of partner notification could be grouped into four categories: perceived practice norms, infection control, patient relationships, and time/money. Multivariate analyses of the factors showed that physicians endorsed patient based referral most favourably and provider based referral least favourably.

Conclusion: Physicians’ opinions about partner notification strategies appear to reflect objective reality in some areas, but not in others. Strategies that improve the fit between physicians’ opinions and effective notification are needed: some are discussed here.

  • physicians
  • partner notification

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