Background ACCEPt, a large cluster randomised control trial, aims to determine if annual testing for 16 to 29 year olds in general practise can reduce chlamydia prevalence. ACCEPt is also the first trial investigating the potential role of the PN in chlamydia testing. To inform the intervention, GPs’ and PNs’ chlamydia knowledge and practises were explored.
Methods GPs and PNs from 143 clinics were recruited from 54 postcodes in 4 Australian States and asked to complete a survey at time of recruitment. Survey responses were compared using conditional logistic regression to account for GPs and PNs from the same clinics participating.
Results Of 607 GPs and 126 PNs enrolled in ACCEPt, 86% and 78% completed the questionnaire, respectively. A third of GPs (32%) compared to 23% of PNs (P = 0.076) correctly identified the two age groups with the highest infection rates in women and only 17% vs 16% (P = 0.942) identified the correct age groups in men. Fewer GPs than PNs would offer testing opportunistically to asymptomatic young patients, including women having a Pap smear (55% vs. 84%, P = < 0.001); antenatal checkup (44% vs. 83%, P = < 0.001) and Aboriginal men with a sore throat (33% vs. 79%, P = < 0.001). Fewer GPs than PNs knew that retesting was recommended after chlamydia treatment (87% vs. 93%, P = 0.027); and that the recommended timeframe for retesting was 3 months (26% vs 66%, P = < 0.001). Under half of PNs (41%) reported involvement in chlamydia testing, with 79% wanting greater involvement and 87% wanting further training.
Conclusion Our survey reveals more gaps in chlamydia knowledge and management among GPs than PNs, which may be contributing to low testing rates in general practise. PNs have a role in increasing chlamydia testing.
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