Over 150 potentially low-value health care practices: an Australian study

Jane S Hocking, Basil Donovan and Rebecca Guy
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11741
Published online: 4 February 2013

To the Editor: Elshaug and colleagues identified chlamydia screening of under-25-year-olds in the general population as a potentially low-value health care practice.1 They cite a systematic review that found that evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on the impact of chlamydia screening on reducing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) was limited to high-risk populations, had methodological limitations and had never involved repeated rounds of screening.2 However, a recent RCT of a single round of screening, although underpowered to find a difference in PID incidence, did find that 9.5% of women with untreated chlamydia developed PID, compared with 1.6% of those who were treated (relative risk, 0.17; 95% CI, 0.17–1.01).3

  • Jane S Hocking1
  • Basil Donovan2
  • Rebecca Guy2

  • 1 Melbourne School of Population Health, Centre for Women’s Health, Gender and Society, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Sexual Health Program, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

We are all named investigators on a clinical trial of a chlamydia testing intervention in general practice funded by the Department of Health and Ageing and National Health and Medical Research Council. This trial is currently in progress.


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