Using the eSexual Health Clinic to access chlamydia treatment and care via the internet: a qualitative interview study

Catherine R.H. Aicken, Lorna J. Sutcliffe, Jo Gibbs, Laura J. Tickle, Kate Hone, Emma Harding-Esch, Catherine H. Mercer, Pam Sonnerberg, S. Tariq Sadiq, Claudia S. Estcourt, Maryam Shahmanesh

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Abstract

Objective: We developed the eSexual Health Clinic (eSHC), an innovative, complex clinical and public health intervention, embedded within a specialist sexual health service. Patients with genital chlamydia access their results online, and are offered medical management via an automated online clinical consultation, leading to antibiotic collection from community pharmacy. A telephone helpline, staffed by Sexual Health Advisers, is available to support patients and direct them to conventional services if appropriate. We sought to understand how patients used this ehealth intervention.
Methods: Within exploratory studies of the eSHC (2014-15), we conducted in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 36 patients diagnosed with chlamydia, who had chosen to use the eSHC (age 18-35, 20 female, 16 male). Thematic analysis was conducted.
Results: Participants described choosing to use this ehealth intervention to obtain treatment rapidly, conveniently and privately, within busy lifestyles that hindered clinic access. They described completing the online consultation promptly, discreetly and with ease. The information provided online was considered comprehensive, reassuring and helpful, but some overlooked it in their haste to obtain treatment. Participants generally described being able to collect treatment from pharmacies discreetly and promptly, but for some, poor awareness of the eSHC by pharmacy staff undermined their ability to do this. Those unsuitable for remote management, who were directed to clinic, described frustration, and concern about health implications and clinic attendance. However, the helpline was a highly-valued source of information, assistance and support.
Conclusion: The eSHC is a promising adjunct to traditional care. Its users have high expectations for convenience, speed and privacy, which may be compromised when transitioning from online to face-to-face elements of the eSHC. Managing expectations, and improving implementation of the pharmacy process, could improve their experiences. Positive views on the helpline provide further support for embedding this ehealth intervention within a specialist clinical service.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalSexually Transmitted Infections
Early online date7 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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Chlamydia
Internet
Interviews
Health
Telemedicine
Pharmacies
Reproductive Health
Therapeutics
Referral and Consultation
Aptitude
Frustration
Privacy
Telephone
Health Services
Life Style
Public Health
Anti-Bacterial Agents

Keywords

  • chlamydia
  • sexual health

Cite this

Aicken, Catherine R.H. ; Sutcliffe, Lorna J. ; Gibbs, Jo ; Tickle, Laura J. ; Hone, Kate ; Harding-Esch, Emma ; Mercer, Catherine H. ; Sonnerberg, Pam ; Sadiq, S. Tariq ; Estcourt, Claudia S. ; Shahmanesh, Maryam. / Using the eSexual Health Clinic to access chlamydia treatment and care via the internet: a qualitative interview study. In: Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2018.
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title = "Using the eSexual Health Clinic to access chlamydia treatment and care via the internet: a qualitative interview study",
abstract = "Objective: We developed the eSexual Health Clinic (eSHC), an innovative, complex clinical and public health intervention, embedded within a specialist sexual health service. Patients with genital chlamydia access their results online, and are offered medical management via an automated online clinical consultation, leading to antibiotic collection from community pharmacy. A telephone helpline, staffed by Sexual Health Advisers, is available to support patients and direct them to conventional services if appropriate. We sought to understand how patients used this ehealth intervention.Methods: Within exploratory studies of the eSHC (2014-15), we conducted in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 36 patients diagnosed with chlamydia, who had chosen to use the eSHC (age 18-35, 20 female, 16 male). Thematic analysis was conducted.Results: Participants described choosing to use this ehealth intervention to obtain treatment rapidly, conveniently and privately, within busy lifestyles that hindered clinic access. They described completing the online consultation promptly, discreetly and with ease. The information provided online was considered comprehensive, reassuring and helpful, but some overlooked it in their haste to obtain treatment. Participants generally described being able to collect treatment from pharmacies discreetly and promptly, but for some, poor awareness of the eSHC by pharmacy staff undermined their ability to do this. Those unsuitable for remote management, who were directed to clinic, described frustration, and concern about health implications and clinic attendance. However, the helpline was a highly-valued source of information, assistance and support.Conclusion: The eSHC is a promising adjunct to traditional care. Its users have high expectations for convenience, speed and privacy, which may be compromised when transitioning from online to face-to-face elements of the eSHC. Managing expectations, and improving implementation of the pharmacy process, could improve their experiences. Positive views on the helpline provide further support for embedding this ehealth intervention within a specialist clinical service.",
keywords = "chlamydia, sexual health",
author = "Aicken, {Catherine R.H.} and Sutcliffe, {Lorna J.} and Jo Gibbs and Tickle, {Laura J.} and Kate Hone and Emma Harding-Esch and Mercer, {Catherine H.} and Pam Sonnerberg and Sadiq, {S. Tariq} and Estcourt, {Claudia S.} and Maryam Shahmanesh",
note = "Acceptance email in SAN OA article (added VoR) Funding: unding The Electronic Self-testing Instruments for Sexually Transmitted Infection (eSTI2) Consortium is funded under the UKCRC Translational Infection Research (TIR) Initiative supported by the Medical Research Council (Grant Number G0901608) with contributions to the Grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research on behalf of the Department of Health, the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates and the Wellcome Trust. The funders had no role in the conduct or analysis of this research or the writing or decision to submit this article for publication.",
year = "2018",
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doi = "10.1136/sextrans-2017-053227",
language = "English",
journal = "Sexually Transmitted Infections",
issn = "1368-4973",
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Aicken, CRH, Sutcliffe, LJ, Gibbs, J, Tickle, LJ, Hone, K, Harding-Esch, E, Mercer, CH, Sonnerberg, P, Sadiq, ST, Estcourt, CS & Shahmanesh, M 2018, 'Using the eSexual Health Clinic to access chlamydia treatment and care via the internet: a qualitative interview study', Sexually Transmitted Infections. https://doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2017-053227

Using the eSexual Health Clinic to access chlamydia treatment and care via the internet: a qualitative interview study. / Aicken, Catherine R.H.; Sutcliffe, Lorna J.; Gibbs, Jo ; Tickle, Laura J.; Hone, Kate ; Harding-Esch, Emma ; Mercer, Catherine H.; Sonnerberg, Pam; Sadiq, S. Tariq; Estcourt, Claudia S.; Shahmanesh, Maryam.

In: Sexually Transmitted Infections, 05.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Using the eSexual Health Clinic to access chlamydia treatment and care via the internet: a qualitative interview study

AU - Aicken, Catherine R.H.

AU - Sutcliffe, Lorna J.

AU - Gibbs, Jo

AU - Tickle, Laura J.

AU - Hone, Kate

AU - Harding-Esch, Emma

AU - Mercer, Catherine H.

AU - Sonnerberg, Pam

AU - Sadiq, S. Tariq

AU - Estcourt, Claudia S.

AU - Shahmanesh, Maryam

N1 - Acceptance email in SAN OA article (added VoR) Funding: unding The Electronic Self-testing Instruments for Sexually Transmitted Infection (eSTI2) Consortium is funded under the UKCRC Translational Infection Research (TIR) Initiative supported by the Medical Research Council (Grant Number G0901608) with contributions to the Grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research on behalf of the Department of Health, the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates and the Wellcome Trust. The funders had no role in the conduct or analysis of this research or the writing or decision to submit this article for publication.

PY - 2018/5

Y1 - 2018/5

N2 - Objective: We developed the eSexual Health Clinic (eSHC), an innovative, complex clinical and public health intervention, embedded within a specialist sexual health service. Patients with genital chlamydia access their results online, and are offered medical management via an automated online clinical consultation, leading to antibiotic collection from community pharmacy. A telephone helpline, staffed by Sexual Health Advisers, is available to support patients and direct them to conventional services if appropriate. We sought to understand how patients used this ehealth intervention.Methods: Within exploratory studies of the eSHC (2014-15), we conducted in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 36 patients diagnosed with chlamydia, who had chosen to use the eSHC (age 18-35, 20 female, 16 male). Thematic analysis was conducted.Results: Participants described choosing to use this ehealth intervention to obtain treatment rapidly, conveniently and privately, within busy lifestyles that hindered clinic access. They described completing the online consultation promptly, discreetly and with ease. The information provided online was considered comprehensive, reassuring and helpful, but some overlooked it in their haste to obtain treatment. Participants generally described being able to collect treatment from pharmacies discreetly and promptly, but for some, poor awareness of the eSHC by pharmacy staff undermined their ability to do this. Those unsuitable for remote management, who were directed to clinic, described frustration, and concern about health implications and clinic attendance. However, the helpline was a highly-valued source of information, assistance and support.Conclusion: The eSHC is a promising adjunct to traditional care. Its users have high expectations for convenience, speed and privacy, which may be compromised when transitioning from online to face-to-face elements of the eSHC. Managing expectations, and improving implementation of the pharmacy process, could improve their experiences. Positive views on the helpline provide further support for embedding this ehealth intervention within a specialist clinical service.

AB - Objective: We developed the eSexual Health Clinic (eSHC), an innovative, complex clinical and public health intervention, embedded within a specialist sexual health service. Patients with genital chlamydia access their results online, and are offered medical management via an automated online clinical consultation, leading to antibiotic collection from community pharmacy. A telephone helpline, staffed by Sexual Health Advisers, is available to support patients and direct them to conventional services if appropriate. We sought to understand how patients used this ehealth intervention.Methods: Within exploratory studies of the eSHC (2014-15), we conducted in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 36 patients diagnosed with chlamydia, who had chosen to use the eSHC (age 18-35, 20 female, 16 male). Thematic analysis was conducted.Results: Participants described choosing to use this ehealth intervention to obtain treatment rapidly, conveniently and privately, within busy lifestyles that hindered clinic access. They described completing the online consultation promptly, discreetly and with ease. The information provided online was considered comprehensive, reassuring and helpful, but some overlooked it in their haste to obtain treatment. Participants generally described being able to collect treatment from pharmacies discreetly and promptly, but for some, poor awareness of the eSHC by pharmacy staff undermined their ability to do this. Those unsuitable for remote management, who were directed to clinic, described frustration, and concern about health implications and clinic attendance. However, the helpline was a highly-valued source of information, assistance and support.Conclusion: The eSHC is a promising adjunct to traditional care. Its users have high expectations for convenience, speed and privacy, which may be compromised when transitioning from online to face-to-face elements of the eSHC. Managing expectations, and improving implementation of the pharmacy process, could improve their experiences. Positive views on the helpline provide further support for embedding this ehealth intervention within a specialist clinical service.

KW - chlamydia

KW - sexual health

U2 - 10.1136/sextrans-2017-053227

DO - 10.1136/sextrans-2017-053227

M3 - Article

JO - Sexually Transmitted Infections

JF - Sexually Transmitted Infections

SN - 1368-4973

ER -