“It has to speak to people’s everyday life…”: qualitative study of men and women’s willingness to participate in a non-medical approach to Chlamydia trachomatis screening

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Abstract

Objective:

To explore the factors associated with men and women’s willingness to provide a urine sample for Chlamydia trachomatis screening in various non-medical settings.

Methods:

Men and women aged 16–24 years attending non-medical settings were invited to participate in urine-based screening and later to participate in a follow-up in-depth interview. Participant observation techniques were also used to collect data on young people’s response to the offer of screening.

Results:

The views of 24 men and women revealed three themes in relation to willingness to participate, particularly among men: their raised awareness of chlamydia, particularly its asymptomatic nature; the convenience of the offer; and the “non-medical” nature of the screening. In contrast, women more often felt the public nature of the settings inhibited them from agreeing to take the test and, thus, acted as a barrier to their willingness to participate in screening.

Conclusions:

The gender difference in willingness to participate in non-medical screening suggests that extending the reach of screening could certainly assist in bringing more young men into screening but may not necessarily destigmatise screening for women. As such, the potential benefits to men must be considered in the context of the potential psychosocial harms to women.

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