Background Point-of-care tests (POCTs) for reproductive health conditions have existed for decades. Newer POCTs for syphilis, HIV and trichomonas are currently available and easy to use. We surveyed practicing obstetricians and gynaecologists to determine current POCT use and perceived obstacles to use.
Methods: Between June and August 2016, 1000 members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists were randomly selected and invited to complete a Qualtrics (222 West river Park Drive, Provo, Utah 84604, USA) survey; 600 of these were members of the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network. Respondents who completed at least 60% of the survey were included in the analysis.
Results: Of the 1000 selected members, 749 had valid emails and 288 (38%) of these participated in and completed the survey. Of the respondents, 70% were male with a mean of 18 years in practice. Detection of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) once or twice a week was reported by 30%, whereas 45% reported detecting STIs once or twice a month. POCTs used included pregnancy tests (83%), urine dipstick (83%), wet mount tests (79%) and the vagina pH test (54.8%). Few used Gram stain (5%) and stat rapid plasma regain tests (4%). Relatively newer US Food and Drug Administration-approved POCTs were used less frequently, with 25% of respondents reporting using the Affirm VPIII (Becton, Dickinson and Company, 1 Becton Drive, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07471, USA) test use and only 10% using a rapid HIV test. The most common perceived barriers to testing were the amount of reimbursement received for performing the test (61.9%) and the payment coverage from the patient (61.3%).
Conclusions: US obstetricians and gynaecologists rely on laboratory test results and traditional POCTs to diagnosis STIs. Future development and marketing of POCTs should consider not only ease and time of test performance, but also the cost of the tests to the practice and the patient, as well as reimbursement.