Objective: To explore the factors associated with men and women’s willingness to provide a urine sample for Chlamydia trachomatis screening in various non-medical settings.
Methods: Men and women aged 16–24 years attending non-medical settings were invited to participate in urine-based screening and later to participate in a follow-up in-depth interview. Participant observation techniques were also used to collect data on young people’s response to the offer of screening.
Results: The views of 24 men and women revealed three themes in relation to willingness to participate, particularly among men: their raised awareness of chlamydia, particularly its asymptomatic nature; the convenience of the offer; and the “non-medical” nature of the screening. In contrast, women more often felt the public nature of the settings inhibited them from agreeing to take the test and, thus, acted as a barrier to their willingness to participate in screening.
Conclusions: The gender difference in willingness to participate in non-medical screening suggests that extending the reach of screening could certainly assist in bringing more young men into screening but may not necessarily destigmatise screening for women. As such, the potential benefits to men must be considered in the context of the potential psychosocial harms to women.
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Funding: The study was funded by the Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government). Grant number CZS/1/25.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Approval was granted by the University of Glasgow Faculty of Medicine Ethics Committee. Care was taken to ensure all respondents were no younger than 16 years in all settings. The confidentiality of the test result was emphasised to respondents, except in the event of a positive result when a health adviser from a local genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic would be informed. All respondents who provided a sample of urine had previously given their written consent for their contact details to be passed to a health adviser in the event of a positive test result.
Contributors: MER and GH had the original idea for the study, designed the study with KL and were involved in the drafting of the paper. KL carried out all the fieldwork described in the paper, carried out primary data analysis and wrote the first draft of the paper.