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Healthcare 2016, 4(2), 25; doi:10.3390/healthcare4020025

Perceptions of Self-Testing for Chlamydia: Understanding and Predicting Self-Test Use

1
School of Psychological Sciences & Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, United Kingdom
2
School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, United Kingdom
3
School of Pharmacy, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 April 2016 / Revised: 26 April 2016 / Accepted: 30 April 2016 / Published: 10 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Psychology in Healthcare Settings)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [213 KB, uploaded 10 May 2016]

Abstract

Background: Self-testing technology allows people to test themselves for chlamydia without professional support. This may result in reassurance and wider access to chlamydia testing, but anxiety could occur on receipt of positive results. This study aimed to identify factors important in understanding self-testing for chlamydia outside formal screening contexts, to explore the potential impacts of self-testing on individuals, and to identify theoretical constructs to form a Framework for future research and intervention development. Methods: Eighteen university students participated in semi-structured interviews; eleven had self-tested for chlamydia. Data were analysed thematically usingaFrameworkapproach. Results: Perceivedbenefitsofself-testingincludeditsbeingconvenient, anonymousandnotrequiringphysicalexamination. Therewasconcernabouttestaccuracyandsome participants lacked confidence in using vulvo-vaginal swabs. While some participants expressed concern about the absence of professional support, all said they would seek help on receiving a positive result. Factors identified in Protection Motivation Theory and the Theory of Planned Behaviour, such as response efficacy and self-efficacy, were found to be highly salient to participants in thinking about self-testing. Conclusions: These exploratory findings suggest that self-testing independentlyofformalhealthcaresystemsmaynomorenegativelyimpactpeoplethanbeingtested by health care professionals. Participants’ perceptions about self-testing behaviour were consistent with psychological theories. Findings suggest that interventions which increase confidence in using self-tests and that provide reassurance of test accuracy may increase self-test intentions. View Full-Text
Keywords: chlamydia; self-testing; Protection Motivation Theory; Theory of Planned Behaviour; home testing chlamydia; self-testing; Protection Motivation Theory; Theory of Planned Behaviour; home testing
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Powell, R.; Pattison, H.M.; Marriott, J.F. Perceptions of Self-Testing for Chlamydia: Understanding and Predicting Self-Test Use. Healthcare 2016, 4, 25.

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