The Legal Aspects of Expedited Partner Therapy Practice: Do State Laws and Policies Really Matter?
Published Date:Aug 2013
Source:Sex Transm Dis. 40(8):657-662.
Corporate Authors:SSuN Working Group
Funding:PS08-865/PS/NCHHSTP CDC HHS/United States
R01 AI068107/AI/NIAID NIH HHS/United States
R01A068107/PHS HHS/United States
Expedited partner therapy (EPT) is a potential partner treatment strategy. Significant efforts have been devoted to policies intended to facilitate its practice. However, few studies have attempted to evaluate these policies.
We used data on interviewed gonorrhea cases from 12 sites in the STD Surveillance Network (SSuN) in 2010 (n=3,404). Patients reported whether they had received EPT. We coded state laws relevant to EPT for gonorrhea using Westlaw legal research database, and the general legal status of EPT in SSuN sites from CDC’s website in 2010. We also coded policy statements by medical and other boards. We used chi-squares to compare receipt of EPT by legal/policy variables, patient characteristics and provider type. Variables significant at p<.10 in bivariate analyses were included in a logistic regression model.
Overall, 9.5% of 2,564 interviewed gonorrhea patients reported receiving EPT for their partners. Receipt of EPT was significantly higher where laws and policies authorizing EPT existed. Where EPT laws for GC existed and EPT was permissible, 13.3% of patients reported receiving EPT as compared to 5.4% where there were no EPT laws and EPT was permissible, and 1.0% where there were no EPT laws and EPT was potentially allowable (p<.01). EPT was higher where professional boards had policy statements supporting EPT (p<.01). Receipt of EPT did not differ by most patient characteristics or provider type. Policy-related findings were similar in adjusted analyses.
EPT laws and policies were associated with higher reports of receipt of EPT among interviewed gonorrhea cases.
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