Background The number of cases of Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) diagnosed has increased in the past 15 years in France as well as in other European countries. This paper reports a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate whether the offer of home-based testing over the internet increased the number of young people tested for chlamydia compared with the current testing strategy and to estimate the number and risks factors of the infected population. This RCT took place as an element of the Chlamyweb Study—a study aiming to evaluate an intervention (the Chlamyweb Intervention) involving the offer of a free self-sampling kit online to sexually active men and women aged 18–24 years in France.
Methods Participants in the Chlamyweb RCT (n=11 075) received either an offer of a free self-sampling kit (intervention group) or were invited to be screened in primary care settings (control group). Risks ratios were used to compare screening rates between the intervention and control groups. Risk factors were analysed for infected people in the intervention group.
Results The screening frequency was about three times higher among young people who received a self-sampling kit than those who only received a tailored recommendation to be screened (29.2% vs 8.7%). Although rates of screening among men were lower than among women (23.9% vs 33.9%), the intervention effect was greater among men (adjusted risk ratios (aRR)=4.55 vs aRR=2.94). Ct positivity (6.8%) was similar to that observed in STI clinics. It was higher in women (8.3%) than in men (4.4%).
Conclusions These results invite us to consider the establishment of a large home-based screening programme, although additional studies including economic assessments are needed to evaluate the most appropriate combination of strategies in the French context.
Trial registraion number AFFSAPS n° IDRCB 0211-A01000-41; Results.
- CHLAMYDIA TRACHOMATIS
- HEALTH SERV RESEARCH
- SEXUAL HEALTH
- INTERVENTION STUDIES
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Handling editor Jackie A Cassell
Collaborators Lucile Bluzat; Bérengère Gall.
Contributors DK-R and NL designed the study, analysed and interpreted data, and wrote the article. BdB and CLR collected biological data and performed biological test. LM performed the economic analysis. PA and CB reviewed the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Funding The trial was funded by the French Institute for Health Promotion and Health Education (INPES). INPES was funded by the French Ministry of Health and National Health Insurance. INPES became Santé publique France the 1st may 2016.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the French National Commission for Information Technology and Liberties (CNIL) and a Regional Ethics Committee (CPP). The trial is registered with a French medical authority under the reference number 2011-A01000-41.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement All data created during this research are available on demand at Santé Publique France, the French national public health agency. Please contact the corresponding author.