Scaling up sexually transmissible infections point-of-care testing in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities: healthcare workers’ perceptions of the barriers and facilitators

Lise Lafferty, Kirsty Smith, Louise Causer, Kelly Andrewartha, David Whiley, Steven G. Badman, Basil Donovan, Lorraine Anderson, Annie Tangey, Donna Mak, Lisa Maher, Mark Shephard, Rebecca Guy, TTANGO2 Collaboration

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Abstract

Background
Sexually transmissible infections (STIs), such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia, are highly prevalent, particularly in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Australia. In these settings, due to distance to centralised laboratories, the return of laboratory test results can take a week or longer, and many young people do not receive treatment, or it is considerably delayed. Point-of-care testing (POCT) provides an opportunity for same day diagnosis and treatment. Molecular POC testing for STIs was available at 31 regional or remote primary health care clinic sites through the Test-Treat-And-GO (TANGO2) program. This qualitative study sought to identify barriers and facilitators to further scaling up STI POCT in remote Aboriginal communities within Australia.

Methods
A total of 15 healthcare workers (including nurses and Aboriginal health practitioners) and five managers (including clinic coordinators and practice managers) were recruited from remote health services involved in the TTANGO2 program to participate in semi-structured in-depth interviews. Health services’ clinics were purposively selected to include those with high or low STI POCT uptake. Personnel participants were selected via a hybrid approach including nomination by clinic managers and purposive sampling to include those in roles relevant to STI testing and treatment and those who had received TTANGO2 training for POCT technology. Milat’s scaling up guide informed the coding framework and analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127
Number of pages12
JournalImplementation Science Communications
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Point of care testing (POCT)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Acceptability
  • Scaling up
  • Qualitative research

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