Evaluating Treatment Adherence among Persons Diagnosed with Gonorrhea in New York State

Evaluating Treatment Adherence among Persons Diagnosed with Gonorrhea in New York State

Image of gonorrhea cells

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 11, 2020) - DrPH candidate Salvatore Currenti collaborated with Professor Feng (Johnson) Qian and New York State Department of Health colleagues to evaluate adherence to federally recommended treatment guidelines among persons aged 12 years and older diagnosed with uncomplicated gonorrhea. Findings showed that a performance incentive (PI) program which included financial incentives for local health departments (LHDs), enhanced surveillance, and education initiatives was associated with improved adherences to federally recommended treatment guidelines.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium responsible for the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea, has caused a major public health concern due to its increased prevalence and resistance to a wide range of antibiotics.    

The researchers explained how “a financially based PI program was developed and implemented for LHDs in New York State to improve adherence to federally recommended gonorrhea treatment guidelines.” Adherence was evaluated in four consecutive timeframes using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines. The researchers concluded that the PI program improved LHD adherence to treatment guidelines and was maintained even after the completion of the PI program.    

As gonorrhea remains a public health concern, the findings of this study highlight the successes of a comprehensive PI program that may be useful for the development of effective public health interventions in the future.