In Australia and elsewhere, chlamydia screening rates for those aged between 16 and 30 years continue to be low. Innovative, age-appropriate approaches are necessary to increase chlamydia screening among this target group to prevent short- and long-term consequences of the infection such as pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy and infertility. Studies have demonstrated that offering chlamydia screening in community pharmacies may be a useful adjunct to current screening services. Approximately 90% of Australians visit a pharmacy at least once a year. Chlamydia screening and education in community pharmacies with remuneration may provide another option for opportunistic testing as part of a national chlamydia screening scheme. Compensation is an accepted practice in the field of research and has been demonstrated to improve adherence to health promotion activities. In 2011, a cross-sectional study of community pharmacy-based chlamydia screening offered in conjunction with an A$10 cash incentive to participate was conducted in the Australian Capital Territory. As part of this study young people were asked about their experience of, and views about, pharmacy-based chlamydia screening. The views of consented participants were collected using the one-page questionnaire consisting of 10 closed questions and one open-ended question. Participants completed the questionnaire when they returned their urine sample and before being given the cash incentive. Overall participants were highly satisfied with the pharmacy-based chlamydia screening service. Over 60% of questionnaire respondents felt that the payment did affect their decision to have the chlamydia test, and 23% stated that it made no difference. Young people reported that pharmacy-based screening is acceptable and convenient. Accessibility and the small cash incentive played significant roles in increasing participation.
PARKER, R., Bell, A., CURRIE, M., Deeks, L., COOPER, G., Martin, S., ... Bowden, F. (2015). 'Catching chlamydia': Combining cash incentives and community pharmacy access for increased chlamydia screening, the view of young people. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 21(1), 79-83. https://doi.org/10.1071/PY12135