Is Accelerated Partner Therapy partner notification for sexually transmissible infections acceptable and feasible in general practice?

Sex Health. 2011 Mar;8(1):17-22. doi: 10.1071/SH10031.


Background: Partner notification in primary care is problematic and of limited effectiveness despite enthusiasm from primary care providers to engage with sexually transmissible infection (STI) management. Innovative partner notification strategies must be relevant to the primary care context. The aim of the present study was to explore the opinions of general practitioners (GP) and practice nurses on the acceptability and feasibility of a new form of partner notification developed in the specialist setting known as Accelerated Partner Therapy (APT), for sex partners of those diagnosed with a bacterial STI in general practice. APT is defined as partner notification strategies that reduce time for sex partners to be treated, and include partner assessment by appropriately qualified health care professionals and here involve telephone and community pharmacy assessment.

Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of GP and practice nurses in East London, UK.

Results: All participants appreciated the importance of partner notification in STI management and felt that APT would improve their practice. They supported prioritising antibiotic provision for the sex partners with provision for future comprehensive STI screening. Although both models were acceptable and feasible, the majority preferred the sexual health clinic telephone assessment over the pharmacy model.

Conclusions: GP and practice nurses welcome new strategies for partner notification and believe APT could provide rapid and convenient treatment of sex partners in general practice. This supports further evaluation of APT models as a partner notification strategy in primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care / organization & administration
  • Anecdotes as Topic
  • Contact Tracing / methods*
  • Female
  • General Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Practitioners / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires