From late 1992 to early 1993, in order to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practice patterns of California obstetricians regarding hepatitis B virus screening of pregnant women and how maternal hepatitis B virus serologies are communicated by obstetricians to pediatricians, we mailed questionnaires to a random sample of 801 California obstetricians and 1030 California pediatricians. Response rates were 65.7% (526) for obstetricians and 71% (732) for pediatricians. Although 99.8% of the surveyed obstetricians indicated that they routinely screened all pregnant women for hepatitis B virus, their knowledge of the correct screening tests to order and their interpretation was mixed. Only 56.3% (95% confidence interval, 51.2 to 61.2) were aware of the California law and approximately 12% did not understand that it mandated universal screening of pregnant women. There was a great difference of opinion between obstetricians and pediatricians regarding how to communicate hepatitis B virus serology results on the mother. Forty-nine percent of obstetricians report that they always request the nurse to inform the pediatrician (48.6%), 51.2% always verbally inform the pediatrician, 39.1% always place an order in the mother's chart and 5.7% always send a letter to the pediatrician. In contrast only 12.9% of pediatricians responded that they always received maternal hepatitis B virus serology results from the obstetrical or nursery nurse, only 2.6% always received a verbal communication from the obstetrician, 14.1% always retrieved it from a written report in the mother's chart and 4.2% reported that they always received a letter from the obstetrician. A uniform system should be adopted to ensure efficient transmission of maternal hepatitis B serology results from obstetricians to pediatricians to ensure prompt treatment to prevent vertical transmission of hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis B
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health