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Chlamydia testing in general practice - a survey of Victorian general practitioners.

Hocking JS, Lim MS, Vidanapathirana J, Read TR, Hellard M

  • Journal Sexual health

  • Published 30 Jan 2007

  • Volume 3

  • ISSUE 4

  • Pagination 241-4

  • DOI 10.1071/sh06042


To assess the current chlamydia testing practices of Victorian general practitioners (GPs).

GPs were randomly selected from the Australasian Medical Publishing Company's national database of medical practitioners and mailed a letter of invitation asking them to complete a postal survey. Up to three postal reminders were sent to non-responders.

Of 421 eligible GPs, 252 (60%) returned a completed survey; 22.9% (95% CI: 17.8%, 28.6%) reported testing at least some asymptomatic patients for chlamydia each week and 26.8% (95% CI: 21.4%, 32.7%) reported that they presumptively treated patients for chlamydia without testing them at least half the time. The majority knew the appropriate specimens for diagnosing chlamydia, but 6-8% thought blood and 6% indicated that the Pap smear could be used to reliably diagnose chlamydia infection.

These findings have implications for the future chlamydia screening pilot program in Australia and indicate that a comprehensive education program will be necessary to inform GPs and equip them with the skills to appropriately test for chlamydia in their practice.