Objectives: Self-testing and point-of-care (POC) tests could improve the detection of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in adolescents. This study aimed to (1) validate a scale measuring acceptability of self-testing for trichomoniasis, (2) compare acceptability of self versus clinician testing using a POC test for trichomoniasis, (3) examine changes in acceptability after experience and review of results, and (4) examine predictors of acceptability.
Methods: Women (14-22 years old) performed the POC test and completed surveys assessing acceptability of self and clinician testing at baseline, after testing, and after discussion of results. Factor analysis examined scale structure; changes in mean scale scores were assessed with mixed models. Generalised linear models examined predictors of acceptability.
Results: Of 247 participants, 54 (22%) had a positive POC test for trichomoniasis. Factor analysis confirmed four acceptability subscales: trust of results, confidence, comfort, and effects of testing. At baseline, trust and confidence were higher, and comfort was lower, for clinician versus self testing. For self-testing, all subscale scores increased from baseline to after testing, and trust increased from after testing to after discussion. Trust of self and clinician results was not significantly different after discussion. A positive attitude towards home testing predicted higher self-test acceptability on all subscales. Tampon use was associated with increased self-test comfort at baseline. Concordance between self and clinician results predicted increased trust of self testing after discussion.
Conclusions: Many young women lack confidence in their ability to self-test for trichomoniasis. Allowing women to try a POC test and review the results with a clinician increases acceptability of self-testing.