Self-sampling for oropharyngeal and rectal specimens to screen for sexually transmitted infections: acceptability among men who have sex with men

Wayal, S., Llewellyn, Carrie, Smith, H, Hankins, M, Phillips, A, Richardson, D and Fisher, M (2009) Self-sampling for oropharyngeal and rectal specimens to screen for sexually transmitted infections: acceptability among men who have sex with men. Sexually Transmitted Infections, 85 (1). pp. 60-64. ISSN 1368-4973

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Abstract

Objectives: To explore the feasibility and acceptability of self-sampling for oropharyngeal and rectal specimens to screen for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among men who have sex with men (MSM). Participant’s willingness to self-sample at home was also explored. Methods: Participants of a study to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of self versus nurse taken oropharyngeal and rectal specimens were surveyed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of self-sampling using specimen collection methods (gargle, OraSure mouth pad to collect oropharyngeal specimens and APTIMA unisex swabs to collect rectal and pharyngeal specimens). Acceptability was measured using a five-point Likert-type response scale (for example, 1 = strongly disagree; 5 = strongly agree). Open-ended questions explored participants’ experiences of self-sampling. Results: Of 334 eligible MSM, 301 (90%) participated in the study. Altogether, 301 participants self-sampled using gargle and rectal and pharyngeal swabs and 288 using mouth pad. Complete questionnaire data from 274 participants showed that feasibility and acceptability of self-sampling using gargle and mouth pad was higher (92%) than pharyngeal swabs (76%). Rectal swabs were acceptable to 82% participants. Despite some discomfort and difficulty in using swabs, 76% were willing to use all four methods for self-sampling in the future. Home sampling was acceptable (84%) as it was perceived to be less intrusive and more convenient than a clinic visit and likely to reduce genitourinary medicine (GUM) waiting time. Conclusions: Self-sampling for rectal and oropharyngeal specimens is feasible and acceptable to MSM. Self-sampling can be offered as an alternative to clinic-based testing and has the potential to improve choice, access and uptake of screening for STIs.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: CHLAMYDIA-TRACHOMATIS INFECTION; UNITED-KINGDOM; NEISSERIA-GONORRHOEAE; RURAL TANZANIA; PREVALENCE; PHARYNGEAL; DISEASES; WOMEN; TRIAL; EPIDEMIC
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine > RA0639 Transmission of disease
Depositing User: Caroline Brooks
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2009
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 07:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/2207

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