- Patients who have the option of providing self-collected samples for sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing are much more likely to use STI testing services.
Why this matters
- The self-collection option may help reach patients at higher risk of STIs, including those unwilling to provide samples collected by health care providers.
- Researchers analyzed published, peer-reviewed studies comparing patients who self-collected samples for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, or trichomoniasis testing to those who had samples collected by clinicians (n=202,745; 5 randomized controlled trials; 6 observational studies), using methods registered with the PROSPERO systematic review database.
- Funding: World Health Organization Human Reproduction Programme; Children's Investment Fund Foundation.
- Meta-analysis of the 5 randomized controlled trials showed that self-collection of samples increased the likelihood patients would get tested for any STI nearly 3-fold (relative risk, 2.941; 95% CI, 1.188-7.281; I-squared, 98.942).
- Only a small number of articles met the inclusion criteria.