Unlike contact-tracing procedures for syphilis and gonorrhea, field follow-up to locate and treat patients with Chlamydia trachomatis infections has not been extensively applied in the United States. We implemented two studies to assess the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of using field follow-up for contact of two groups: patients with chlamydial infection detected as part of a screening program and women who were sexual partners of men with nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). Of the 142 patients with chlamydial infection who had not been treated empirically, 112 (79%) returned for treatment when a reminder system was used, as compared with a return rate of 97% (259/266) achieved by field follow-up (P < 0.0001). Among the 678 men with NGU enrolled in a randomized trial of field follow-up vs. two self-referral methods, field follow-up yielded over three times as many partners returning to the clinic for treatment as did either of the other two methods (P < 0.001). Analyses using the estimated costs of the intervention strategies and the medical costs associated with an untreated chlamydial infection showed that field follow-up by trained investigators proved to be not only the most efficient method for locating patients with chlamydial infection and/or patients who were at risk for it, but also the most cost-effective in terms of total health-care dollars spent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases