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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Aug;18(8):1187-93. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.1288.

Obstetrician/gynecologists' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding prevention of infections in pregnancy.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



Maternal infection during pregnancy is a well-recognized cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities, as well as an important contributor to other adverse pregnancy outcomes. The objective of the present survey was to gain information about the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of obstetrician/gynecologists regarding prevention of infections during pregnancy.


A survey was mailed to 606 Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN) members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (approximately 2% of membership). CARN members were sampled to demographically represent ACOG.


Of the 606 eligible respondents, surveys were received from 305 (response rate: 50%). Most obstetrician/gynecologists knew that specific actions by pregnant women could reduce the risk of infection. Seventy-nine to eighty-eight percent reported counseling pregnant women about preventing infection from Toxoplasma gondii, hepatitis B virus, and influenza, 50%-68% about varicella-zoster virus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Parvovirus B19, and <50% about cytomegalovirus, Bordetella pertussis, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus. The majority reported time constraints were a barrier to counseling, although most reported educational materials would be helpful.


Knowledge was accurate and preventive counseling was appropriate for some infections, but for others it could be improved. Further studies are needed to identify strategies to increase preventive counseling.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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