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Differences in experiences of barriers to STI testing between clients of the internet-based diagnostic testing service GetCheckedOnline.com and an STI clinic in Vancouver, Canada.
Sex Transm Infect. 2019 03; 95(2):151-156.ST

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Internet-based STI testing programmes may overcome barriers posed by in-clinic testing, though uptake could reflect social gradients. The role these services play in comparison to clinical testing services is unknown. We compared experiences of testing barriers between STI clinic clients to clients of GetCheckedOnline.com (GCO; where clients take a printed lab form to a lab).

METHODS

Our 10-month cross-sectional study was conducted after GCO was promoted to STI clinic clients and men who have sex with men (MSM). Clinic and GCO clients completed an online survey assessing testing barriers and facilitators; responses were compared using bivariate analysis (level of significance P<0.01; significant results below).

RESULTS

Compared with 321 clinic clients, the 73 GCO clients were more likely to be older (median 35 vs 30 years), MSM (45% vs 16%), be testing routinely (67% vs 39%), have delayed testing for any reason (76% vs 54%) and due to clinic distance (28% vs 9%), report delays due to wait times (50% vs 17%), embarrassment with testing (16% vs 6%), discomfort discussing sexual health where they usually go for testing (39% vs 22%), as well as discomfort discussing sexual history with (19% vs 5%) and fearing judgement from (30% vs 15%) any healthcare provider. GCO clients were less likely to have found clinic hours convenient (59% vs 77%) and clinic appointments easy to make (49% vs 66%), and more likely to report long wait times (50% vs 17%). We found no differences in technology skills/use.

CONCLUSIONS

In this urban setting, an internet-based testing service effectively engaged individuals experiencing testing barriers, with few social gradients in uptake. While some testing barriers could be addressed through increasing access to clinical services, others require social and structural changes, highlighting the importance of internet-based STI testing services to increasing test uptake.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Clinical Prevention Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Clinical Prevention Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Clinical Prevention Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Clinical Prevention Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Clinical Prevention Services, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Division of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Central Clinical School, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Clinical Operations Communicable Disease & Harm Reduction, Fraser Health Authority, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.Division of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. BC Centre for Disease Control Public Health Laboratory, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.Ministry of Health, Government of British Columbia, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. BC Children's and BC Women's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29437984

Citation

Gilbert, Mark, et al. "Differences in Experiences of Barriers to STI Testing Between Clients of the Internet-based Diagnostic Testing Service GetCheckedOnline.com and an STI Clinic in Vancouver, Canada." Sexually Transmitted Infections, vol. 95, no. 2, 2019, pp. 151-156.
Gilbert M, Thomson K, Salway T, et al. Differences in experiences of barriers to STI testing between clients of the internet-based diagnostic testing service GetCheckedOnline.com and an STI clinic in Vancouver, Canada. Sex Transm Infect. 2019;95(2):151-156.
Gilbert, M., Thomson, K., Salway, T., Haag, D., Grennan, T., Fairley, C. K., Buchner, C., Krajden, M., Kendall, P., Shoveller, J., & Ogilvie, G. (2019). Differences in experiences of barriers to STI testing between clients of the internet-based diagnostic testing service GetCheckedOnline.com and an STI clinic in Vancouver, Canada. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 95(2), 151-156. https://doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2017-053325
Gilbert M, et al. Differences in Experiences of Barriers to STI Testing Between Clients of the Internet-based Diagnostic Testing Service GetCheckedOnline.com and an STI Clinic in Vancouver, Canada. Sex Transm Infect. 2019;95(2):151-156. PubMed PMID: 29437984.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Differences in experiences of barriers to STI testing between clients of the internet-based diagnostic testing service GetCheckedOnline.com and an STI clinic in Vancouver, Canada. AU - Gilbert,Mark, AU - Thomson,Kimberly, AU - Salway,Travis, AU - Haag,Devon, AU - Grennan,Troy, AU - Fairley,Christopher K, AU - Buchner,Chris, AU - Krajden,Mel, AU - Kendall,Perry, AU - Shoveller,Jean, AU - Ogilvie,Gina, Y1 - 2018/02/07/ PY - 2017/06/25/received PY - 2017/12/10/revised PY - 2018/01/15/accepted PY - 2018/2/14/pubmed PY - 2019/5/1/medline PY - 2018/2/14/entrez KW - gay men KW - intervention studies KW - public health KW - testing SP - 151 EP - 156 JF - Sexually transmitted infections JO - Sex Transm Infect VL - 95 IS - 2 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Internet-based STI testing programmes may overcome barriers posed by in-clinic testing, though uptake could reflect social gradients. The role these services play in comparison to clinical testing services is unknown. We compared experiences of testing barriers between STI clinic clients to clients of GetCheckedOnline.com (GCO; where clients take a printed lab form to a lab). METHODS: Our 10-month cross-sectional study was conducted after GCO was promoted to STI clinic clients and men who have sex with men (MSM). Clinic and GCO clients completed an online survey assessing testing barriers and facilitators; responses were compared using bivariate analysis (level of significance P<0.01; significant results below). RESULTS: Compared with 321 clinic clients, the 73 GCO clients were more likely to be older (median 35 vs 30 years), MSM (45% vs 16%), be testing routinely (67% vs 39%), have delayed testing for any reason (76% vs 54%) and due to clinic distance (28% vs 9%), report delays due to wait times (50% vs 17%), embarrassment with testing (16% vs 6%), discomfort discussing sexual health where they usually go for testing (39% vs 22%), as well as discomfort discussing sexual history with (19% vs 5%) and fearing judgement from (30% vs 15%) any healthcare provider. GCO clients were less likely to have found clinic hours convenient (59% vs 77%) and clinic appointments easy to make (49% vs 66%), and more likely to report long wait times (50% vs 17%). We found no differences in technology skills/use. CONCLUSIONS: In this urban setting, an internet-based testing service effectively engaged individuals experiencing testing barriers, with few social gradients in uptake. While some testing barriers could be addressed through increasing access to clinical services, others require social and structural changes, highlighting the importance of internet-based STI testing services to increasing test uptake. SN - 1472-3263 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29437984/Differences_in_experiences_of_barriers_to_STI_testing_between_clients_of_the_internet_based_diagnostic_testing_service_GetCheckedOnline_com_and_an_STI_clinic_in_Vancouver_Canada_ L2 - https://sti.bmj.com/lookup/pmidlookup?view=long&amp;pmid=29437984 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -