Users' Opinions of Internet-based Self-sampling Tests for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Sweden
Maria Grandahl, Jamila Mohammad, Margareta Larsson, Björn Herrmann
Internet-based testing for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a public health service in Sweden. However, knowledge about users of the service is limited. This study examined experiences of using the C. trachomatis/N. gonorrhoeae self-sampling service. Individuals ordering a free-of-charge C. trachomatis/N. gonorrhoeae self-sampling test from an eHealth website in 2018/2019 were invited to complete a questionnaire. Of the 1,785 participants 69.4% were women. The majority of participants (77.1%) were single and heterosexual (88.2%) and 5.3% of samples tested positive. The self-sampling service was appreciated, with > 90% considering it good/very good. The main reason subjects gave for testing was to check their health after unprotected sex (72.9%). Almost half (44.7%) had regretted having sex after alcohol intake. Differences in attitudes were seen between categories: born vs not born in Sweden, employed vs student, single vs married/having a partner. Participants were happy with the self-sampling test service, and sexual risk behaviours motivated use of the test.
Chlamydia trachomatis is a common sexually transmitted infection, which may cause severe reproductive complications. Widespread testing in combination with treatment and partner notification is vital to interrupt the spread of infection. Although internet-based testing is well-established, the data regarding the user experience is scarce. This study gives users’ perspective on internet-based self-sampling, which is valuable for healthcare providers. The main findings revealed that the 1,785 participants were happy with the self-sampling test service and that their sexual risk behaviours motivated them to use the test. This public health service provides a user-friendly and valuable tool to reduce chlamydia infections.