Effects of Population Based Screening for Chlamydia Infections in The Netherlands Limited by Declining Participation Rates

BV Schmid, EAB Over, IVF van den Broek, ELM Op de Coul, JEAM van Bergen, JSA Fennema, Hannelore Götz, CJPA Hoebe, GA de Wit, MAB van der Sande, MEE Kretzschmar

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Abstract

Background: A large trial to investigate the effectiveness of population based screening for chlamydia infections was conducted in the Netherlands in 2008-2012. The trial was register based and consisted of four rounds of screening of women and men in the age groups 16-29 years in three regions in the Netherlands. Data were collected on participation rates and positivity rates per round. A modeling study was conducted to project screening effects for various screening strategies into the future. Methods and Findings: We used a stochastic network simulation model incorporating partnership formation and dissolution, aging and a sexual life course perspective. Trends in baseline rates of chlamydia testing and treatment were used to describe the epidemiological situation before the start of the screening program. Data on participation rates was used to describe screening uptake in rural and urban areas. Simulations were used to project the effectiveness of screening on chlamydia prevalence Conclusions: Decreasing participation rates over time profoundly impact the effectiveness of population based screening for chlamydia infections. Using data from several consecutive rounds of screening in a simulation model enabled us to assess the future effectiveness of screening on prevalence. If participation rates cannot be kept at a sufficient level, the effectiveness of screening on prevalence will remain limited.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
JournalPLoS One (print)
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-02-65-01

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