Measuring health and quality of life for women undergoing testing and screening for chlamydia: a systematic review

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Most economic evaluations of interventions to prevent or control curable Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, have focused on the longer term health impacts avoided. However, there is a range of qualitative evidence which suggests that those who think they might have an STI and/or undergo testing can experience impacts on their quality of life (QoL) at the testing and diagnosis stage. A systematic review was undertaken to identify and evaluate studies which have measured QoL and sexual health for women undergoing testing and screening for chlamydia.

A systematic review was conducted, with searches of five electronic databases up to the end of August 2013. Data on study characteristics, methods and results were extracted using a standard template, and a narrative synthesis was undertaken.

Eight studies measuring QoL and sexual health were included. The included studies measured a variety of aspects of QoL and sexual health, with a focus on psychosocial wellbeing. A range of validated tools were used to measure health and QoL, and ‘bespoke’ questions were also developed. Few significant differences were found with comparator groups using generic instruments, but some impacts were found using ‘bespoke’ questions.

Although researchers have begun to examine the relationships between QoL and sexual health, there are limitations associated with the evidence available. There is thus a need for further research exploring sexual health and QoL for patients undergoing testing and screening for curable STIs, with a focus on analysing the most appropriate methodological approaches in this context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-164
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number3
Early online date2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


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