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Study suggests gap in treatment of sexually transmitted diseases among teens
Date:9/16/2012

tners. However, most health departments lack the resources to offer this service widely. Expedited partner therapy has been shown to be an effective alternative, especially in cases where the patient says his or her partner is unlikely to visit a doctor.

The study focused on 289 pediatric resident physicians enrolled in 14 of California's 17 pediatric residency programs. The pediatricians-in-training answered a questionnaire about their use of expedited partner therapy, their familiarity with EPT laws and their comfort with using the approach. Although 83 percent of those surveyed had diagnosed an STD, only 52 percent had used EPT. A large percentage of the physicians questioned - nearly 70 percent - knew that California law allows EPT for chlamydia and gonorrhea treatment, but many inaccurately believed the policy also applied to other STDs. In addition, 87 percent of residents said that their lack of familiarity with EPT laws was a barrier to their use of the approach; only 24 percent said they had ever been taught about EPT; and residents who were further along in their training did not have better knowledge of EPT, suggesting a significant opportunity for increased instruction on the subject.

The results suggest that the lack of familiarity with EPT extends beyond residents to more experienced pediatricians, the research team said. "You learn from your mentors," said Anne Hsii, MD, the study's first author. "It may be that many of our pediatrician mentors don't know about these laws." Hsii was an adolescent medicine fellow at Stanford when the study was conducted and is now a pediatrician at two outpatient clinics associated with Chinese Hospital in San Francisco. The findings underscore the need for a more systematic approach to incorporating EPT information into pediatricians' training, Hsii said.

Golden noted that the best way for adolescents to deal with STDs is to avoid getting them in the first place. He encouraged parents of tee
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Contact: Erin Digitale
digitale@stanford.edu
650-724-9175
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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