Interventions to increase rescreening for repeat chlamydial infection

Sex Transm Dis. 2012 Feb;39(2):136-46. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31823ed4ec.


Background: Repeat infection with Chlamydia trachomatis following treatment is common and increases the risk of sequelae. Despite clinical guidelines recommending rescreening within 3 months of treatment, rescreening rates remain low. We undertook a systematic review to identify studies that compared rates of rescreening for repeat chlamydial infection between patients receiving and not receiving an intervention.

Methods: We searched Medline, EMBASE, and conference Web sites from 2000 to September 2010 using variations of the terms "chlamydia" and "rescreening" and "intervention." We used meta-analysis to calculate the overall relative risk (RR) effect on rescreening rates by study design and strategy type.

Results: We identified 8 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and 4 controlled observational studies, all conducted in the United States. Four RCTs assessed mailed screening kits ± reminders, with an average effect estimate of 1.30 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.01-1.50); 2 RCTs assessed motivational interviewing ± reminders with a summary effect of 2.15 (95% CI: 0.92-3.37); one RCT evaluated the effect of reminders with a RR of 9.67 (95% CI: 1.31-71.31), and another RCT assessed the effect of a $20 patient incentive with a RR of 1.16 (95% CI: 0.62-2.17). Three controlled observational studies assessed reminder strategies with RRs of 1.97 (95% CI: 1.76-2.21), 1.01 (95% CI: 0.66-1.55), and 1.88 (95% CI: 1.58-2.24)-a summary effect was not calculated due to significant heterogeneity; and one controlled observational study assessed the promotion of clinical guidelines with a RR of 1.35 (95% CI: 0.96-1.90).

Conclusion: The review suggests that the use of mailed screening kits is an important strategy to increase rescreening, reminder systems are promising, and motivational interviewing is worth investigation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chlamydia Infections / diagnosis*
  • Chlamydia Infections / prevention & control
  • Chlamydia Infections / transmission
  • Chlamydia trachomatis / isolation & purification*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Young Adult


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic