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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 11 (2003), Issue 1, Pages 39-44
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/S106474490300005X

Screening and Counseling Practices Reported by Obstetrician–Gynecologists for Patients With Hepatitis C Virus Infection

1National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MS-G37, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology , Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA
3American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Department of Research, Washington, DC, USA

Received 1 July 2002; Accepted 17 October 2002

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

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.