Fam Med. 2012 Jun;44(6):408-15.
Patterns of empiric treatment of Chlamydia trachomatis infections in an underserved population.
SourceDepartment of Family Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, 97239, USA.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:Appropriate treatment of chlamydia trachomatis (CT) sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is important. Much of this treatment is empiric, and most research on treatment patterns has been conducted in emergency department settings. Few studies have focused on CT treatment in outpatient primary care settings, especially among underserved populations. We aimed to study patterns of empiric CT treatment in an urban safety net clinic.
METHODS:We examined electronic health records from all patients in whom a CT lab test was completed between January 1 and December 31, 2007 (n=1,222). We manually reviewed charts to confirm patient demographics, CT testing, STI symptoms, known exposure, empiric treatment, test results, and follow-up. We then conducted univariate and multivariate analyses to study patterns of and characteristics associated with receiving empiric treatment. We also assessed follow-up for non-treated patients with positive tests.
RESULTS:Among 488 patients who presented with STI symptoms and who were tested, 181 (37.1%) were empirically treated. In multivariate analyses, women with symptoms had significantly lower odds of receiving empiric treatment, as compared with men. Of the 1,222 patients tested, 75 had a positive CT laboratory test; seven (9.3%) of these patients did not receive empiric treatment and had no documented posttest treatment.
CONCLUSIONS:A minority of patients with STI symptoms were empirically treated. Outpatient clinicians should consider whether a patient meets guidelines for empiric STI treatment; this decision should take into account the feasibility of prompt follow-up. This may be especially important in women presenting with STI symptoms.
- [PubMed - in process]