Sexual Health

June 2009

Research

Attitudes of WA GPs to chlamydia partner notification

A survey

Volume 38, No.6, June 2009 Pages 448-452

Revle D Bangor-Jones

Jenny McCloskey

Levinia Crooks

Lisa A Bastian

Donna B Mak

Christine Dykstra

Lewis J Marshall

Simona R Achitei

Background

Partner notification is essential to interrupt transmission of sexually transmissible infections. We surveyed the attitudes to partner notification of general practitioners seeing 1–5 cases of chlamydia annually.

Methods

We collected data on chlamydia notifications received in Western Australia from 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008. Treating GPs were identified and 200 were randomly selected.

Results

One hundred and five (53%) GPs responded. They believed automatic partner notification by the Department of Health occurred following notification (45%) or by ticking the box on the notification form (88%). Ninety-seven percent of GPs encouraged partner notification; 55% ensured it occurred. Printable resources were favoured by 90%, but use of web based resources was low. Practice nurses were seldom involved in partner notification.

Discussion

Although GPs believed that partner notification was important, follow up was infrequent. They believed (erroneously) that the Department of Health would routinely undertake partner notification. Printable resources for partner notification would be welcomed.

Partner notification is essential for best practice sexual health management and the interruption of transmission of infection. It aims to identify asymptomatic partners of infected people so that they can be tested and treated. If partner notification is performed well, it complements sexual health education and can help to bring about sustained behaviour change in people with a sexually transmissible infection (STI).1

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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