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Original research
‘It’s literally giving them a solution in their hands’: the views of young Australians towards patient-delivered partner therapy for treating chlamydia
  1. Elly Layton1,
  2. Jane L Goller1,
  3. Jacqueline Coombe1,
  4. Meredith Temple-Smith2,
  5. Jane Tomnay3,
  6. Alaina Vaisey1,
  7. Jane S Hocking1
  1. 1Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, Carlton, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health, University of Melbourne, Shepparton, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elly Layton, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia; ellylayton{at}outlook.com

Abstract

Objectives Patient-delivered partner therapy (PDPT) is a method for providing antibiotic treatment for the sexual partners of an index patient with an STI by means of a prescription or medication that the index patient gives to their sexual partner(s). Qualitative research regarding barriers and enablers to PDPT has largely focused on the views of healthcare providers. In this study, we sought to investigate the views of young people (as potential health consumers) regarding PDPT for chlamydia.

Methods Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with young Australian men and women. Participants were asked to provide their views regarding PDPT from the perspective of both an index patient and partner. Purposive and snowball sampling was used. Data were analysed thematically.

Results We interviewed 22 people (13 women, 9 men) aged 18–30 years, 15 of whom had previously been tested for chlamydia. Despite none having previous knowledge of or experience using PDPT, all viewed it positively and thought it should be widely available. Participants reported that they would be willing to give PDPT to their sexual partners in situations where trust and comfort had been established, regardless of the relationship type. Protecting their partners’ privacy was essential, with participants expressing reluctance to provide their partners’ contact details to a doctor without consent. Beyond logistical benefits, PDPT was viewed as a facilitator to partner notification conversations by offering partners a potential solution. However, most interviewees indicated a preference to consult with a healthcare provider (GP or pharmacist) before taking PDPT medication. Participants indicated that legitimacy of information when navigating a chlamydia diagnosis was crucial and was preferably offered by healthcare providers.

Conclusions Though PDPT is unlikely to fully replace partners’ interactions with healthcare providers, it may facilitate partner notification conversations and provide partners greater choice on how, when and where they are treated.

  • patient care management
  • sexual partners
  • sexual health
  • qualitative research
  • chlamydia infections

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Footnotes

  • AV and JSH are joint senior authors.

  • Handling editor Claudia S Estcourt

  • Contributors All authors contributed to study design and recruitment. EL conducted the interviews. EL and AV conducted data analysis with contributions from JC, JLG, MT-S and JSH and all authors contributed to the interpretation of results. EL drafted the manuscript and all authors were involved in revising draft iterations of the manuscript prior to submission.

  • Funding JSH receives funding from a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (1136117).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Melbourne (1852970.3).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available.

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