Published Date: January 01, 2011
How can HMOs increase screening for Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), a readily treatable infection that affects an estimated 2.8 million Americans each year? Guidelines call for annual screening of all sexually active young females to combat this "silent epidemic," but physicians don't always adhere to the guidelines.

A new study in the Jan. 12 issue of the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases by Nadereh Pourat, the Center's director of research, Gerald F. Kominski, associate director of the Center, and colleagues found that doctors were more likely to screen if they had received training in the past, had received feedback from their contracted HMOs or had access to national CT screening guidelines. The study also revealed that other factors, such as a doctor's gender, specialty, or years of clinical experience, were related to how often the test was performed. The authors conclude that interventions tailored to physicians work best when they are noticed and acknowledged. In other words, interventions such as mailing of screening guidelines to physicians are more effective if combined with specific feedback on the physicians' screening rates.

Publication Authors:
  • Nadereh Pourat, PhD
  • Gerald F. Kominski, Ph.D.
  • Jas Nihalani
  • Romni Neiman
  • Gail Bolan