Observational study of factors associated with return of home sampling kits for sexually transmitted infections requested online in the UK

Kaveh Manavi, James Hodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Objectives: To investigate factors associated with the return of home sampling kits for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Setting: Online STI testing service offered to the residents of Birmingham and Solihull.

Participants: All patients requesting STI home sampling kits via the Umbrella sexual health service website between 15 July 2016 and 14 December 2016.

Interventions: Associations between data collected at online registration and the rate of return of STI home sampling kits within 30 days of request was assessed.Results: A total of 5310 kits were requested, of which 3099 (58.4%) were returned to the medical microbiology laboratory. On multivariable analysis, women and men who have sex with men were similarly likely to return their sampling kits (adjusted OR (ORadj) 1.06, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.30), while heterosexual men were significantly less likely to return their sampling kits (ORadj 0.63, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.72, p<0.001 vs women). Patients reporting symptoms were also less likely to return kits (ORadj 0.77, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.89, p=0.001 vs asymptomatic patients). Kits that were delivered to the patient’s home, rather than to a clinic or pharmacy (p<0.001), and those requested from less economically deprived neighbourhoods (p=0.029) were significantly more likely to be returned.

Conclusion: STI self-sampling testing kits delivered to patients’ homes are most likely to be returned. Heterosexual men and those from more economically deprived areas are the less likely groups to return the kits. Further research on the barriers to return self-sampling STI testing kits of these subgroups of patients is warranted.

Trial registration number: Registered with R&D department at University Hospitals Birmingham; CARMS-13551.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere017978
JournalBMJ open
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • diagnostic microbiology
  • genitourinary medicine
  • organisation of health services
  • sexual medicine

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