Objectives: To determine men and women's preferred strategies for managing chlamydial infection: partner notification (patient referral), postal testing kit (PTK) or patient-delivered partner medication (PDPM).
Design: Interviewer-conducted questionnaires (women) and anonymous, self-administered questionnaires (men).
Population: Women infected with chlamydia who were participating in a randomised study assigning partners to patient referral, PTK or PDPM. Men attending genitourinary medicine, family planning and fracture clinics in Edinburgh.
Methods: Men and women were asked their preferred strategy for testing/treating sexual partners (patient referral, PTK or PDPM) if they or their partner had a positive chlamydia test. Women were also asked the reasons for their choice and whether partners were satisfied with the intervention received.
Main outcome measures: Reported preferences of men and women for testing/treating partners.
Results: Response rates were 97 and 81% for the women's questionnaires at study entry and 6 months, respectively, and 81% for the men's questionnaires. Of 174 women responding, 67% preferred PDPM for partners and 57% would prefer PDPM for themselves. The main reasons were that PDPM allows simpler, more convenient and faster treatment. Women reported that 65% of partners were satisfied with whichever intervention they received. Of 293 men responding, 70% would choose patient referral for partners and 53% would prefer patient referral for themselves. Men previously tested for chlamydia were significantly more likely to choose PDPM (n = 22) than those never tested (n = 7); P < 0.001. Only 3% of women and 9% of men preferred PTKs for partners.
Conclusion: The results suggest that women prefer PDPM and men, at least hypothetically, prefer patient referral. PTK appears unpopular with both sexes.