Background: Obstetrician—gynecologists are important providers of primary health care to women, and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection screening practices and recommendations provided by obstetrician—gynecologists for HCV-infected patients are unknown.
Methods: We surveyed American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Fellows, including 413 Fellows who were participating in the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN) and 650 randomly sampled Fellows, about HCV screening and counseling practices.
Results: In total, 74% of CARN members and 44% of non-CARN members responded. Demographics and practice structure were similar between the two groups. More than 80% of providers routinely collected drug use and blood transfusion histories from their patients. Of the respondents, 49% always screened for HCV infection when patients had a history of injection drug use, and 35% screened all patientswho had received a blood transfusion before 1992. For HCV-infected patients, 47% of the physicians always advised against breastfeeding, 70% recommended condom use with a long-term steady partner, and 64% advised against alcohol consumption. Respondents who considered themselves to be primary care providers were no more likely to screen or provide appropriate counseling messages than were other providers.
Conclusions: Most obstetrician—gynecologists are routinely collecting information that can be used to assess HCV infection risk, but HCV screening practices and counseling that are provided for those with HCV infection are not always consistent with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ACOG recommendations.