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P463 Participation and retention of women in a prospective multicenter study on Chlamydia trachomatis infections (FemCure)
  1. Nicole Dukers-Muijrers1,
  2. Titia Heijman2,
  3. Hannelore Götz3,
  4. Patricia Zaandam4,
  5. Juliën Wijers4,
  6. Jeanine Leenen1,
  7. Geneviève Van Liere1,
  8. Jeanne Heil1,
  9. Astrid Wielemaker5,
  10. Maarten Schim Van Der Loeff6,
  11. Petra Wolffs7,
  12. Sylvia Bruisten6,
  13. Mieke Steenbakkers4,
  14. Arjan Hogewoning8,
  15. Henry De Vries9,
  16. Christian Hoebe1
  1. 1Public Health Service South Limburg, Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC), Sexual Health, Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health, Medical Microbiology, Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Heerlen, Netherlands
  2. 2Public Health Service Amsterdam, Sexual Health, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. 3Public Health Service Rotterdam Rijnmond, Public Health/Sexual Health, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  4. 4Public Health Service South Limburg, Sexual Health, Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health, Heerlen, Netherlands
  5. 5Public Health Service Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Infectious Disease Control, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  6. 6Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Medical Center (UMC), Infectious Diseases, Infection and Immunity (AI and II), Amsterdam, Netherlands
  7. 7Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC), Medical Microbiology, Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht, Netherlands
  8. 8Public Health Service Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Medical Center (UMC), National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Infectious Diseases, Infection and Immunity Institute (AI and II), Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Background The participation of women in prospective sexual health research is key to understanding mechanisms of their health, and best practices need to be shared. We here evaluate participation, retention, and associated factors, of women in a multicenter prospective cohort (FemCure) providing insights in internal and external validity of this prospective study.

Methods Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) infected adult women, negative for HIV, syphilis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae were eligible to be pre-selected and included at three sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics in The Netherlands (2016–2017). The planned follow-up for participants was 3 months with 2-weekly rectal and vaginal CT self-sampling and online questionnaires at home and at the clinic. We aimed to optimize participation by simultaneously implementing a mix of strategies (e.g. research in an existing clinical infrastructure, incentives, easy data collection, text message reminders). We calculated proportions of women pre-selected, included and retained (completed follow-up). Associations with non-pre-selection, non-inclusion and non-retention (attrition) were assessed (using logistic and Cox regression).

Results Of 4916 women attending the clinics, 1763 (35.9%) were pre-selected, of whom 560 (31.8%) were included. Study site, non-Western migration background, high education, and no STI history were associated with non-pre-selection and non-inclusion. Self-reported reasons for non-inclusion were: unable to attend clinic, language-barriers, or too much expected effort. Retention was 76.3% (n=427). Attrition was 10.71/100 person-months (95% confidence-interval 9.97, 12.69). Women who withdrew felt incapable or unwilling to invest more time. Attrition was associated with young age and low education. Retained women expressed a high study satisfaction.

Conclusion In an outpatient clinical setting, it proved feasible to include and retain women in an intensive prospective cohort with moderate (3 months) follow-up time. External validity may be limited as the study population was not representative (sampling-bias), but this need not affect internal validity. Selective attrition however (potential selection-bias) should be accounted for when interpreting the study-results.

Disclosure No significant relationships.

  • chlamydia
  • cohort study

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