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General Practitioners’ Use of Internet-Based Patient Materials for Partner Notification

Tomnay, Jane E. RN, PhD*; Pitts, Marian K. BA, PhD; Fairley, Christopher K. FRACP, PhD*

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: August 2007 - Volume 34 - Issue 8 - p 613-616
doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000258324.64545.2c

Objectives: To determine if general practitioners (GPs) would use chlamydia resources for partner notification (PN) when the address to a website was printed on positive results.

Study Design: Two surveys (pre-/postintervention) were sent to GPs before half were exposed to the website address on positive chlamydia results.

Results: Of 499 eligible GPs, 233 (48%) returned completed preintervention surveys and 173 of 233 GPs (78%) returned postintervention surveys. Partner letters increased from 13% (10/78) to 36% (28/78) (P = 0.0009) and brochures from 33% (26/78) to 54% (42/78) (P = 0.003) among those exposed to the website. There was no significant change among GPs not exposed to the website. GPs who reported practicing PN all of the time did not change but was greater than 93% in all groups.

Conclusion: When a website was provided with useful documents on it, GPs were more likely to provide resources for clients to pass onto partners.

Australian physicians found the provision of a printed website address useful for patient educational materials made available on written chlamydia test results.

From the *Department of Public Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Victoria, Australia; and †Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia

The authors thank Dr. Caroline Reed, Joan Marler (Infectious Diseases Serology), the Information Technology Department of Dorevitch Pathology, and Dr. John Andrew from Gribbles Pathology for assistance in providing the website address to GPs.

A public health grant was awarded by the Department of Human Services, Victoria in 2005 to fund this project (18928). Jane Tomnay was in receipt of an Australian Post Graduate Award (2002–2005).

Correspondence: Jane Tomnay, RN, PhD, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, 3rd Floor, 580 Swanston Street, Carlton, 3053, Victoria, Australia. E-mail:

Received for publication August 30, 2006, and accepted November 27, 2006.

© Copyright 2007 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association