Partner notification of sexually transmitted disease in an obstetric and gynecologic setting

Obstet Gynecol. 1999 Sep;94(3):399-402. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(99)00306-3.


Objective: To survey obstetrician-gynecologists regarding current approaches to partner notification of women with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and to relate reported practices to state requirements.

Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was sent to community, hospital-employed, and university-based physicians within a single health care system. The survey was designed to assess physician demographics, knowledge, and attitudes about partner notification of women with STDs.

Results: One hundred eight (49%) of 222 surveys were returned. Respondents were 36% private practitioners, 38% hospital-employed, and 23% university faculty physicians. Although most correctly identified the importance of partner notification for several STDs, they (63 of 108, 58%, confidence interval [CI] 50%, 67%) could not identify all of those conditions. Most respondents (84 of 108, 78%, CI 69%, 85%) were unaware of all required reportable STDs and the state's preferred method of partner notification. The vast majority of respondents (96 of 108, 89%, CI 82%, 94%) relied on women to notify their partners of the STD.

Conclusion: Educational efforts are needed to increase physician awareness of required reportable STDs and the role of partner notification and treatment in disease control. Physicians need to be aware of state regulations for partner notification when they are in practice. Development of standard algorithms for partner notification and treatment might be needed.

MeSH terms

  • Contact Tracing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Gynecology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obstetrics*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires