Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37140451
Link to DOI – 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2023.28.18.2200781
Euro Surveill 2023 May; 28(18):
BackgroundFollowing the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant spread, the use of unsupervised antigenic rapid diagnostic tests (self-tests) increased.AimThis study aimed to measure self-test uptake and factors associated with self-testing.MethodsIn this cross-sectional study from 20 January to 2 May 2022, the case series from a case-control study on factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection were used to analyse self-testing habits in France. A multivariable quasi-Poisson regression was used to explore the variables associated with self-testing among symptomatic cases who were not contacts of another infected individual. The control series from the same study was used as a proxy for the self-test background rate in the non-infected population of France.ResultsDuring the study period, 179,165 cases who tested positive through supervised tests were recruited. Of these, 64.7% had performed a self-test in the 3 days preceding this supervised test, of which 79,038 (68.2%) were positive. The most frequently reported reason for self-testing was the presence of symptoms (64.6%). Among symptomatic cases who were not aware of being contacts of another case, self-testing was positively associated with being female, higher education, household size, being a teacher and negatively associated with older age, not French by birth, healthcare-related work and immunosuppression. Among the control series, 12% self-tested during the 8 days preceding questionnaire filling, with temporal heterogeneity.ConclusionThe analysis showed high self-test uptake in France with some inequalities which must be addressed through education and facilitated access (cost and availability) for making it a more efficient epidemic control tool.