Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility and impact of a health education intervention promoting partner notification for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Methods: The research setting was a busy public health clinic in a rural district in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. A before/after quantitative study design was used to measure the effect of an audiovisual presentation of a compelling love drama, posters, and pamphlets. Measures collected from all consenting STD index patients during a 6 week pre-intervention (control) phase were compared with those collected during a 6 week intervention phase. A qualitative evaluation assessed whether the intervention accurately portrayed the intended educational messages. Results: 150 index patients (55% female) were interviewed in the control phase and 185 index patients (64% female) in the intervention phase. The intervention phase showed improvements on several measures of self efficacy about notifying casual partners, such as a belief among index patients that a greater proportion of their casual partners would see the importance of seeking treatment as a result of their notification interaction. The rate of contact cards returned per index patient was 0.27 in the intervention phase, compared with 0.20 in the control phase (95% Cl for the rate difference: -0.05, 0.17). The qualitative research found that the intervention was thoroughly enjoyed by patients and clinicians, but a fundamental problem with it was that patients received confused messages about the relation between HIV/AIDS and other STDs. This has potentially negative consequences for partner notification. Conclusion: The intervention needs further development, and then could provide a highly acceptable, cost effective model for health education in clinics in developing countries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases