Acceptability of self-testing for trichomoniasis increases with experience

Sex Transm Infect. 2011 Oct;87(6):494-500. doi: 10.1136/sextrans-2011-050037. Epub 2011 Jul 27.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Patient Preference
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Self Care / standards*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Specimen Handling
  • Trichomonas Infections / diagnosis*
  • Young Adult