Perceptions on Point-of-Care Tests for Sexually Transmitted Infections - Comparison between Frontline Clinicians and Professionals in Industry

Point Care. 2012 Jun 1;11(2):126-129. doi: 10.1097/POC.0b013e31825a25e8.


OBJECTIVES: To determine if a gap exists between sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinicians and industry professionals regarding perceptions of the ideal types and characteristics of STI point-of-care tests (POCTs). METHODS: Our online survey design contained sections on demographics; barriers of use for available STI POCTs; characteristics of an ideal POCT, including prioritizing pathogens for targets; and "building your own POCT". Practicing clinicians and academic experts from two venues, STI-related international conference attendees and U.S. STD clinic clinicians, were invited to participate in the clinician survey. Professionals from industry in the STI diagnostic field were invited to participate in the industry survey. Chi-square test and conditional logistical regression were used for data analysis. RESULTS: Clinician survey participants (n=218) identified "the time frame required" (39.9%), "complexity" (31.2%), and "interruption of work flow" (30.3%) as the top three barriers making it difficult to use STI POCTs, while the industry survey participants (n=107) identified "complexity" (65.4%), "unreliability" (53.3%), and "difficulty in reading results" (34.6%) as the top three barriers (all p values <0.05). Sensitivity was always the most important attribute to be considered for a new STI POCT by both participant groups. Participants of the clinician group chose cost as the second priority attribute, while those of the industry group chose specificity as the second priority. CONCLUSION: We identified differences in the perceptions regarding barriers and ideal attributes for STI POCTs between frontline clinical providers and industry personnel. Tailored training is warranted to inform scientists, biomedical engineers, and other industry experts about characteristics that clinicians desire for STI POCTs.