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Comparing the characteristics of users of an online service for STI self-sampling with clinic service users: a cross-sectional analysis.
Sex Transm Infect. 2018 08; 94(5):377-383.ST

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Online services for self-sampling at home could improve access to STI testing; however, little is known about those using this new modality of care. This study describes the characteristics of users of online services and compares them with users of clinic services.

METHODS

We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of routinely collected data on STI testing activity from online and clinic sexual health services in Lambeth and Southwark between 1January 2016 and 31March 2016. Activity was included for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis testing for residents of the boroughs aged 16 years and older. Logistic regression models were used to explore potential associations between type of service use with age group, gender, ethnic group, sexual orientation, positivity and Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) quintiles. We used the same methods to explore potential associations between return of complete samples for testing with age group, gender, ethnic group, sexual orientation and IMD quintiles among online users.

RESULTS

6456 STI tests were carried out by residents in the boroughs. Of these, 3582 (55.5%) were performed using clinic services and 2874 (44.5%) using the online service. In multivariate analysis, online users were more likely than clinic users to be aged between 20 and 30 years, female, white British, homosexual or bisexual, test negative for chlamydia or gonorrhoea and live in less deprived areas. Of the individuals that ordered a kit from the online service, 72.5% returned sufficient samples. In multivariate analysis, returners were more likely than non-returners to be aged >20 years and white British.

CONCLUSION

Nearly half (44.5%) of all basic STI testing was done online, although the characteristics of users of clinic and online services differed and positivity rates for those using the online service for testing were lower. Clinics remain an important point of access for some groups.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Global Health and Health Partnerships, King's College London, London, UK.Faculty of Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.Department of Biostatistics and Health Services Research, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.Department of Veterinary Sciences, Bristol Vet School, University of Bristol, Bath, UK.Department of Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.School of Population Health and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Global Health and Health Partnerships, King's College London, London, UK.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29437985

Citation

Barnard, Sharmani, et al. "Comparing the Characteristics of Users of an Online Service for STI Self-sampling With Clinic Service Users: a Cross-sectional Analysis." Sexually Transmitted Infections, vol. 94, no. 5, 2018, pp. 377-383.
Barnard S, Free C, Bakolis I, et al. Comparing the characteristics of users of an online service for STI self-sampling with clinic service users: a cross-sectional analysis. Sex Transm Infect. 2018;94(5):377-383.
Barnard, S., Free, C., Bakolis, I., Turner, K. M. E., Looker, K. J., & Baraitser, P. (2018). Comparing the characteristics of users of an online service for STI self-sampling with clinic service users: a cross-sectional analysis. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 94(5), 377-383. https://doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2017-053302
Barnard S, et al. Comparing the Characteristics of Users of an Online Service for STI Self-sampling With Clinic Service Users: a Cross-sectional Analysis. Sex Transm Infect. 2018;94(5):377-383. PubMed PMID: 29437985.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Comparing the characteristics of users of an online service for STI self-sampling with clinic service users: a cross-sectional analysis. AU - Barnard,Sharmani, AU - Free,Caroline, AU - Bakolis,Ioannis, AU - Turner,Katy M E, AU - Looker,Katharine J, AU - Baraitser,Paula, Y1 - 2018/02/07/ PY - 2017/06/06/received PY - 2017/12/06/revised PY - 2018/01/03/accepted PY - 2018/2/14/pubmed PY - 2018/12/28/medline PY - 2018/2/14/entrez KW - epidemiology (general) KW - health serv research KW - sexual health KW - testing SP - 377 EP - 383 JF - Sexually transmitted infections JO - Sex Transm Infect VL - 94 IS - 5 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Online services for self-sampling at home could improve access to STI testing; however, little is known about those using this new modality of care. This study describes the characteristics of users of online services and compares them with users of clinic services. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of routinely collected data on STI testing activity from online and clinic sexual health services in Lambeth and Southwark between 1January 2016 and 31March 2016. Activity was included for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis testing for residents of the boroughs aged 16 years and older. Logistic regression models were used to explore potential associations between type of service use with age group, gender, ethnic group, sexual orientation, positivity and Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) quintiles. We used the same methods to explore potential associations between return of complete samples for testing with age group, gender, ethnic group, sexual orientation and IMD quintiles among online users. RESULTS: 6456 STI tests were carried out by residents in the boroughs. Of these, 3582 (55.5%) were performed using clinic services and 2874 (44.5%) using the online service. In multivariate analysis, online users were more likely than clinic users to be aged between 20 and 30 years, female, white British, homosexual or bisexual, test negative for chlamydia or gonorrhoea and live in less deprived areas. Of the individuals that ordered a kit from the online service, 72.5% returned sufficient samples. In multivariate analysis, returners were more likely than non-returners to be aged >20 years and white British. CONCLUSION: Nearly half (44.5%) of all basic STI testing was done online, although the characteristics of users of clinic and online services differed and positivity rates for those using the online service for testing were lower. Clinics remain an important point of access for some groups. SN - 1472-3263 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29437985/Comparing_the_characteristics_of_users_of_an_online_service_for_STI_self_sampling_with_clinic_service_users:_a_cross_sectional_analysis_ L2 - https://sti.bmj.com/lookup/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=29437985 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -