Docs still forgetting to test for Chlamydia

June 16, 2008

Although young women often see their obstetrician-gynecologists or primary care physicians for pelvic exams, Pap smears and urinalyses, chlamydia testing is often not performed at the same time, according to study findings published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Although young women often see their obstetrician-gynecologists or primary care physicians for pelvic exams, Pap smears and urinalyses, chlamydia testing is often not performed at the same time, according to study findings published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Karen Hoover, MD, and Guoyu Tao, PhD, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, analyzed data from the 2005 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to estimate the prevalence of chlamydia screening among women aged 15 to 25 during visits to obstetrician-gynecologists and primary care physicians.

The researchers found that there were 6.3 million visits to obstetrician-gynecologists and 20.9 million visits to primary care physicians. Obstetrician-gynecologists conducted 68.8% of visits with pelvic examinations and 71.1% of visits with Pap tests, while primary care physicians conducted 77.5% of visits with urinalyses. However, obstetrician-gynecologists did not perform chlamydia testing at 82.1% of visits with pelvic examinations and 77.3% of visits with Pap tests, and primary care physicians did not perform testing at 99.1% of visits with urinalyses, the report indicates.

“There are many missed opportunities for chlamydia testing of young women in ambulatory care visits-during pelvic examinations, Pap tests, and urinalyses,” Hoover and Tao conclude.

Hoover K, Tao G. Missed opportunities for chlamydia screening of young women in the United States. Obstet Gynecol. 2008;111:1097-1102.