Systematic screening with information and home sampling for genital Chlamydia trachomatis infections in young men and women in Norway: a randomized controlled trial
1 Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO box 4404, Nydalen, Oslo, 0403, Norway
2 Stavanger University Hospital, PO box. 8100, Forus, Stavanger, 4068, Norway
3 Current adress: Epidemi, Lasarettet, Kristiansand, 4610, Norway
BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:30 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-30Published: 23 January 2013
As most genital Chlamydia trachomatis infections are asymptomatic, many patients do not seek health care for testing. Infections remain undiagnosed and untreated. We studied whether screening with information and home sampling resulted in more young people getting tested, diagnosed and treated for chlamydia in the three months following the intervention compared to the current strategy of testing in the health care system.
We conducted a population based randomized controlled trial among all persons aged 18–25 years in one Norwegian county (41 519 persons). 10 000 persons (intervention) received an invitation by mail with chlamydia information and a mail-back urine sampling kit. 31 519 persons received no intervention and continued with usual care (control). All samples from both groups were analysed in the same laboratory. Information on treatment was obtained from the Norwegian Prescription Database (NorPD). We estimated risk ratios and risk differences of being tested, diagnosed and treated in the intervention group compared to the control group.
In the intervention group 16.5% got tested and in the control group 3.4%, risk ratio 4.9 (95% CI 4.5-5.2). The intervention led to 2.6 (95% CI 2.0-3.4) times as many individuals being diagnosed and 2.5 (95% CI 1.9-3.4) times as many individuals receiving treatment for chlamydia compared to no intervention in the three months following the intervention.
In Norway, systematic screening with information and home sampling results in more young people being tested, diagnosed and treated for chlamydia in the three months following the intervention than the current strategy of testing in the health care system. However, the study has not established that the intervention will reduce the chlamydia prevalence or the risk of complications from chlamydia.