Objective: To develop and evaluate instructional and packaging materials for patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT).
Methods: 64 patients participated from an urban US sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic. The research comprised three phases: individual interviews to elicit attitudes and beliefs regarding PDPT and to assess the understanding of key STI-related concepts and terminology; the development and rapid validation of prototype instructional and packaging materials for PDPT and interviews to assess the effectiveness, acceptability and usability of the prototype materials. Thematic qualitative data analysis was used to examine interview responses.
Results: Participants were willing to deliver and receive PDPT and several potentially important related beliefs were identified. Participants indicated substantial unfamiliarity with words associated with STI treatment and some variability in definitions of sex partners. PDPT informational materials differentially affected participant willingness to receive (positively) and deliver (negatively) PDPT, positively influenced self-efficacy and understanding and were perceived as easy to use.
Discussion: PDPT creates complex challenges for education, motivation and communication. Issues such as appropriate vocabulary and interpersonal trust may be amplified when responsibility for a medical procedure—dispensation of treatment—is shifted to patients. STI PDPT implementation can be augmented with effective, high-quality informational and packaging materials; however, several challenges exist.
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See Editorial, p 80
Additional information is published online only at http://sti.bmj.com/content/vol85/issue2
Funding: This study was supported in part by contract no 200-2006-M-18977 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The information and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the CDC.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis.
Contributors: KMcB participated in protocol design and conducted the qualitative interviews and, along with JDF, the analysis. RCG and JDF jointly conceived of the research efforts and guided protocol development. RCG is the principal investigator and has directed the design and evaluation of the materials.
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