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


Wayal , S., Llewellyn , C., 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), 60-64. (doi:10.1136/sti.2008.032193). (PMID:18708480).

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Description/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
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1136/sti.2008.032193
ISSNs: 1368-4973 (print)
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 187343
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Status
15 August 2009Published
Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 09:03
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:39
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/187343

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