Project period: 03/17/2011 - 03/16/2012
Grant Type: Pilot Project
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) plans to investigate the impact of implementing optout HIV screening at its health centers. In September 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that health care providers make HIV screening a routine part of health care by offering opt-out screening - where a patient is notified an HIV test will be done unless the patient declines it. PPSNE wants to determine if opt-out testing will increase the proportion of routine visits that include an HIV test, and, ultimately, the number of patients who receive an HIV test. We also want to determine if there are any sociodemograhic or clinical factors associated with accepting opt-out screening. Linda Niccolai of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS will be the co-principal investigator and has helped PPSNE develop a research strategy that involves six of our 19 health centers. For one week period prior to implementation of opt-out HIV screening, patients will complete a survey. After staff training and implementation of opt-out screening, patients will again be surveyed during a one week period. Staff will also be surveyed following the implementation of opt-out testing. We expect to gather surveys from 500 patients in all. Data collected from the surveys as well as clinical information from patient medical records will be analyzed. The results of the research project will help PPSNE improve clinical practice and aid in the agency's adoption of the CDC recommendations. As a grantee in the federal Title X family planning program, PPSNE expects to share the results of the research project at regional and national Title X meetings. The project also supports PPSNE's plans to expand our overall research capability. For this project, PPSNE will hire a new research director who will work with Linda Niccolai to collect and analyze the data.