Objective: To examine practices of general practitioners' (GPs) in relation to partner notification for chlamydia and identify the supports they would find most useful to assist them.
Goal: To identify innovative resources that could improve partner notification for chlamydia in primary care.
Study design: A postal survey was undertaken that involved GPs from several jurisdictions across Australia between August and December 2007. GPs were randomly selected from a national database.
Results: Of 521 eligible GPs, 234 (45%) returned a completed questionnaire. Ninety-five percent (n = 223) felt that it was their role to discuss partner notification with patients diagnosed with chlamydia; however, only 45% (105/232) were sure how best to assist their patients with this. Considerable variation was shown in the way partner notification was undertaken, including how far back in time GPs recommended contacting partners. GPs considered a wide range of possible resources useful, including a website supporting patients (90%), information sheets generated by practice software when chlamydia is diagnosed (90%), printed information packs for patients (85%), a website designed to assist GPs (80%), and referral to these websites via positive laboratory results (85%). Forty-three percent currently undertook patient delivered partner therapy for chlamydia.
Conclusion: GPs want and need greater guidance and resources to assist them with partner notification for chlamydia. Resources utilizing the internet and practice software and mechanisms where GPs are automatically directed to these when chlamydia is diagnosed have wide appeal and the potential to improve the effectiveness of partner notification for chlamydia.