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1.  A First Look at Chorioamnionitis Management Practice Variation among US Obstetricians 
Objective. To examine practice patterns for diagnosis and treatment of chorioamnionitis among US obstetricians. Study Design. We distributed a mail-based survey to members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, querying demographics, practice setting, and chorioamnionitis management strategies. We performed univariable and multivariable analyses. Results. Of 500 surveys distributed, 53.8% were returned, and 212 met study criteria and were analyzed. Most respondents work in group practice (66.0%), perform >100 deliveries per year (60.0%), have been in practice >10 years (77.3%), and work in a nonuniversity setting (85.1%). Temperature plus one additional criterion (61.3%) was the most common diagnostic strategy. Over 25 different primary antibiotic regimens were reported, including use of a single agent by 30.0% of respondents. A wide range of postpartum antibiotic duration was reported from no postpartum treatment (34.5% after vaginal delivery, 11.3% after cesarean delivery) to 48 hours of postpartum treatment (24.7% after vaginal delivery, 32.1% after cesarean delivery). No practitioner characteristic was independently associated with diagnostic or therapeutic strategies in multivariable analysis. Conclusion. There is a wide variation in contemporary clinical practices for the management of chorioamnionitis. This may represent a dearth of level I evidence. Future prospective clinical trials may provide more evidence-based practice recommendations for diagnosis and treatment of chorioamnionitis.
PMCID: PMC3540735  PMID: 23319852
2.  Obstetrician-Gynecologists and Perinatal Infections: A Review of Studies of the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (2005–2009) 
Background. Maternal infection is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, and ob-gyns are in a unique position to help prevent and treat infections. Methods. This paper summarizes studies completed by the Research Department of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists regarding perinatal infections that were published between 2005 and 2009. Results. Obstetrician-gynecologists are routinely screening for hepatitis B and HIV, and many counsel prenatal patients regarding hepatitis B and toxoplasmosis. However, other infections are not regularly discussed, and many cited time constraints as a barrier to counseling. A majority discusses the transmission of giardiasis and toxoplasmosis, but few knew the source of cryptosporidiosis or cyclosporiasis. Conclusions. Many of the responding ob-gyns were unaware of or not adhering to infection management guidelines. Obstetrician-gynecologists are knowledgeable regarding perinatal infections; however, guidelines must be better disseminated perhaps via a single infection management summary. This paper identified knowledge gaps and areas in which practice can be improved and importantly highlights the need for a comprehensive set of management guidelines for a host of infections, so that physicians can have an easy resource when encountering perinatal infections.
PMCID: PMC2989373  PMID: 21113289
3.  Provider Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices regarding Obstetric and Postsurgical Gynecologic Infections Due to Group A Streptococcus and Other Infectious Agents 
Background. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of obstetricians and gynecologists regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for prevention of healthcare-associated group A streptococcal (GAS) infections as well as general management of pregnancy-related and postpartum infections are unknown. Methods. Questionnaires were sent to 1300 members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Results. Overall, 53% of providers responded. Postpartum and postsurgical infections occurred in 3% and 7% of patients, respectively. Only 14% of clinicians routinely obtain diagnostic specimens for postpartum infections; providers collecting specimens determined the microbial etiology in 28%. Microbiologic diagnoses were confirmed in 20% of postsurgical cases. Approximately 13% and 15% of postpartum and postsurgical infections for which diagnoses were confirmed were attributed to GAS, respectively. Over 70% of clinicians were unaware of CDC recommendations. Conclusions. Postpartum and postsurgical infections are common. Providing empiric treatment without attaining diagnostic cultures represents a missed opportunity for potential prevention of diseases such as severe GAS infections.
PMCID: PMC2248426  PMID: 18301725
4.  Survey of Obstetrician-Gynecologists about Giardiasis 
Giardiasis is one of the most common parasitic diseases in the United States with over 15 400 cases reported in 2005. A survey was conducted by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the knowledge of obstetricians and gynecologists regarding the diagnosis and treatment of giardiasis. The questionnaire was distributed to a random sample of 1200 ACOG fellows during February through June of 2006. Five hundred and two (42%) responded to the survey. The respondents showed good general knowledge about diagnosis, transmission, and prevention; however, there was some uncertainty about the treatment of giardiasis and which medications are the safest to administer during the first trimester of pregnancy.
PMCID: PMC1939915  PMID: 17710238
5.  Listeriosis prevention knowledge among pregnant women in the USA. 
BACKGROUND: Listeriosis is a food-borne disease often associated with ready-to-eat foods. It usually causes mild febrile gastrointestinal illness in immunocompetent persons. In pregnant women, it may cause more severe infection and often crosses the placenta to infect the fetus, resulting in miscarriage, fetal death or neonatal morbidity. Simple precautions during pregnancy can prevent listeriosis. However, many women are unaware of these precautions and listeriosis education is often omitted from prenatal care. METHODS: Volunteer pregnant women were recruited to complete a questionnaire to assess their knowledge of listeriosis and its prevention, in two separate studies. One study was a national survey of 403 women from throughout the USA, and the other survey was limited to 286 Minnesota residents. RESULTS: In the multi-state survey, 74 of 403 respondents (18%) had some knowledge of listeriosis, compared with 43 of 286 (15%) respondents to the Minnesota survey. The majority of respondents reported hearing about listeriosis from a medical professional. In the multi-state survey, 33% of respondents knew listeriosis could be prevented by not eating delicatessen meats, compared with 17% in the Minnesota survey (p=0.01). Similarly, 31% of respondents to the multi-state survey compared with 19% of Minnesota survey respondents knew listeriosis could be prevented by avoiding unpasteurized dairy products (p=0.05). As for preventive behaviors, 18% of US and 23% of Minnesota respondents reported avoiding delicatessen meats and ready-to-eat foods during pregnancy, whereas 86% and 88%, respectively, avoided unpasteurized dairy products. CONCLUSIONS: Most pregnant women have limited knowledge of listeriosis prevention. Even though most respondents avoided eating unpasteurized dairy products, they were unaware of the risk associated with ready-to-eat foods. Improved education of pregnant women regarding the risk and sources of listeriosis in pregnancy is needed.
PMCID: PMC1784557  PMID: 16040322
6.  Opportunities to reduce overuse of antibiotics for perinatal group B streptococcal disease prevention and management of preterm premature rupture of membranes. 
OBJECTIVE: To identify opportunities to reduce overuse of antibiotics for prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal (GBS) disease and management of preterm premature rupture of membranes (pPROM). METHODS: An anonymous written questionnaire was sent to each of 1031 Fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the responses were subjected to statistical analysis. RESULTS: Among those of the 404 respondents who saw obstetric patients in 2001, most (84%) screened for GBS colonization, and 22% of these prescribed prenatal antibiotics to try to eradicate GBS colonization. Of the 382 respondents (95%) who prescribed antibiotics for pPROM, 36% continued antibiotics for more than 7 days despite negative results from GBS cultures collected before initiation of treatment. Having more years of clinical experience (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 3.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.5 to 6.2), working in a non-academic setting (adjusted OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.0 to 6.9), and prescribing antibiotics prenatally for GBS colonization (adjusted OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.4) were associated with prescribing prolonged antibiotics for pPROM. CONCLUSION: Prenatal antibiotic treatment for GBS colonization and prolonged antibiotic treatment for pPROM contribute to overuse of antibiotics in obstetrics.
PMCID: PMC1784554  PMID: 16040321
7.  Knowledge, attitudes, and reported practices among obstetrician-gynecologists in the USA regarding antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory tract infections. 
BACKGROUND: Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) have not been well described among obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs). This information is useful for determining whether an OB/GYN-specific program promoting appropriate antibiotic use would significantly contribute to the efforts to decrease inappropriate antibiotic use among primary care providers. METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire asking about the treatment of URIs was sent to 1031 obstetrician-gynecologists. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 46%. The majority of respondents (92%) were aware of the relationship between antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance, and respondents estimated that 5% of their patients had URI symptoms at their office visits. Overall, 56% of respondents reported that they would prescribe an antibiotic for uncomplicated bronchitis and 43% for the common cold. OB/GYNs with the fewest years of experience were less likely than those with the most years of experience to report prescribing for uncomplicated bronchitis (Odds ratio (OR) 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.23 to 0.91) or the common cold (OR 0.44, CI 0.22 to 0.89). The majority of respondents (60%) believed that most patients wanted an antibiotic for URI symptoms, with male OB/GYNs being more likely than female OB/GYNs (OR 2.1, CI 1.2 to 3.8) to hold this belief. Both male OB/GYNs (OR 1.9, CI 1.1 to 3.4) and rural practitioners (OR 2.1, CI 1.1 to 4.0) were more likely to believe that it was hard to withhold antibiotics for URI symptoms because other physicians prescribe antibiotics for these symptoms. OB/GYNs who believed that postgraduate training prepared them well for primary care management were more likely than those who did not (OR 2.1, CI 1.1 to 4.2) to believe that they could reduce antibiotic prescribing without reducing patient satisfaction. CONCLUSION: Multiple demographic factors affect attitudes and reported practices regarding antibiotic prescribing. However, in view of the low proportion of office visits for URIs, an OB/GYN-specific program is not warranted.
PMCID: PMC1784550  PMID: 16040323
8.  Toxoplasmosis-Related Knowledge and Practices Among Pregnant Women in the United States 
Background: Infection with Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy can lead to severe illness in the fetus. Many T. gondii infections are preventable by simple hygienic measures.
Methods: We surveyed pregnant women in the US to determine their knowledge about toxoplasmosis and their practices to prevent infection. Volunteer obstetricians selected to be demographically representative of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recruited the participants.
Results: Of 403 women responding to the survey, 48% indicated that they had heard or seen information about toxoplasmosis; however, only 7% were aware of being tested for the disease. Forty percent of responding women knew that toxoplasmosis is caused by an infection, but 21% thought that a poison causes it. The highest level of knowledge was about cats and T. gondii ; 61% responded that the organism is shed in the feces of infected cats and 60% responded that people could acquire toxoplasmosis by changing cat litter. There was a low level of knowledge about other risk factors; only 30% of the women were aware that T. gondii may be found in raw or undercooked meat. Nevertheless, a high percentage of women indicated that they do not eat undercooked meat during pregnancy and that they practice good hygienic measures such as washing their hands after handling raw meat, gardening or changing cat litter.
Conclusion: Except for the risk of transmission from cats, knowledge among pregnant women about toxoplasmosis is low. However, toxoplasmosis-preventive practices are generally good, suggesting that providers should continue to offer education about practices that help prevent foodborne diseases in general as well as information about preventing toxoplasmosis specifically.
PMCID: PMC1852280  PMID: 15022874
9.  Screening and Counseling Practices Reported by Obstetrician–Gynecologists for Patients With Hepatitis C Virus Infection 
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.
PMCID: PMC1852263  PMID: 12839631
10.  Survey of Obstetrician-Gynecologists in the United States About Toxoplasmosis 
Background: Although the incidence of toxoplasmosis is low in the United States, up to 6000 congenital cases occur annually. In September 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a conference about toxoplasmosis; participants recommended a survey of the toxoplasmosis-related knowledge and practices of obstetrician-gynecologists and the development of professional educational materials for them.
Methods: In the fall of 1999, surveys were mailed to a 2% random sample of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) members and to a demographically representative group of ACOGmembers known as the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN). Responses were not significantly different for the random and CARN groups for most questions (p value shown when different).
Results: Among 768 US practicing ACOG members surveyed, 364 (47%) responded. Seven per cent (CARN 10%, random 5%) had diagnosed one or more case(s) of acute toxoplasmosis in the past year. Respondents were well-informed about how to prevent toxoplasmosis. However, only 12% (CARN 11%, random 12%) indicated that a positive Toxoplasma IgM test might be a false–positive result, and only 11% (CARN 14%, random 9%) were aware that the Food and Drug Administration sent an advisory to all ACOG members in 1997 stating that some Toxoplasma IgM test kits have high false–positive rates. Most of those surveyed (CARN 70%, random 59%; X2 p < 0.05) were opposed to universal screening of pregnant women.
Conclusions: Many US obstetrician-gynecologists will encounter acute toxoplasmosis during their careers, but they are frequently uncertain about interpretation of the laboratory tests for the disease. Most would not recommend universal screening of pregnant women.
PMCID: PMC1784635  PMID: 11368255

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