Valuing Experience Factors in the Provision of Chlamydia Screening: An Application to Women Attending the Family Planning Clinic

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Abstract

Objective:

To examine women's preferences for characteristics of chlamydia screening. Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common curable sexually transmitted disease. To design effective screening programs, it is important to fully capture the benefits of screening to patients. Thus, the value of experience factors must be considered alongside health outcomes.

Methods:

A self-complete discrete choice experiment questionnaire was administered to women attending a family planning clinic. Chlamydia screening was described by five characteristics: location of screening; type of screening test; cost of screening test; risk of developing pelvic inflammatory disease if chlamydia is untreated; and support provided when receiving results.

Results:

One hundred twenty-six women completed the questionnaire. Respondents valued characteristics of the care experience. Screening was valued at £15; less invasive screening tests increase willingness to pay by £7, and more invasive tests reduce willingness to pay by £3.50. The most preferred screening location was the family planning clinic, valued at £5. The support of a trained health-care professional when receiving results was valued at £4. Respondents under 25 years and those in a casual relationship were less likely to be screened.

Conclusions:

Women valued experience factors in the provision of chlamydia screening. To correctly value these screening programs and to predict uptake, cost-effectiveness studies should take such values into account. Failure to do this may result in incorrect policy recommendations.

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