Preferred strategies of men and women for managing chlamydial infection

BJOG. 2009 Feb;116(3):357-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2008.01977.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Azithromycin / therapeutic use
  • Chlamydia Infections / drug therapy*
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Contact Tracing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Postal Service
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Sexual Partners*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Azithromycin