Efficiency and cost-effectiveness of field follow-up for patients with chlamydia trachomatis infection in a sexually transmitted diseases clinic

Barry P. Katz, C. Scott Danos, Timothy S. Quinn, Virginia Caine, Robert B. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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