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Table 3 New approaches to user/provider relationships for STI testing services

From: How online sexual health services could work; generating theory to support development

Public health promotion/surveillance “Gosh, I can manage my own care this way, and I can do other things too.” It is sort of educational. It may well enhance self-esteem by doing that and remaining healthy, or living a healthier lifestyle, and have knock-on benefits elsewhere. You’d hope”. (Executive)
for all positives we say to them, “This is when you should re-test,” and we can then send people packages or invite them to pick up packages for retesting at that time (clinic staff)
Supported health care approach “rather than just treat them and kick them out of the website, I think there has to be some thought given to information, education, being able to answer people’s questions quickly, some empathy on a telephone line for the asymptomatic patients I see …..they don’t understand what a symptom is. You ask them if they have unusual discharge, pain, the usual stuff, and because that’s layman terms to them they’re like, “Oh yeah, I have that”. (Clinic staff)
‘You could develop a … pathway that gave human contact maybe at the beginning and at the end and telephone contact two or three times through the pathway depending on need …let me show you how to access it. Can you find that page? OK, click in the bottom left-hand corner’ (Clinical Manager).
Online consumer approach “The patient is the customer and is absolutely at the heart of that brand and I think it changes the power a little bit. It’s the power of patients to be able to control the journey that they have with their own healthcare”. (executive)