Vaccination and perinatal infection prevention practices among obstetrician-gynecologists

Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Apr;101(4):704-10. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(03)00010-3.


Objective: To assist efforts to improve adult vaccination coverage by characterizing vaccination and infectious disease screening practices of obstetrician-gynecologists.

Methods: A written survey of demographics, attitudes, and practices was mailed to 1063 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Fellows, including the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (n = 413) and 650 randomly sampled Fellows.

Results: Seventy-four percent of Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network members and 44% of nonmembers responded. A majority (Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network members: 60%; nonmembers: 49%) considered themselves primary care providers. Fewer than 60% routinely obtained patient vaccination or infection histories. Most screened prenatal patients for hepatitis B surface antigen (89%) and rubella immunoglobulin G antibody (85%). Sixty-four percent worked in practices that offered at least one vaccine; the most common were rubella (52%) and influenza (50%). Ten percent worked in practices that offered all major vaccines recommended for pregnant or postpartum women. Despite recommendations to provide influenza vaccine to pregnant women during influenza season, only 44% did so; among those who did not, 14% reported a belief that pregnant women do not need influenza vaccine. Provision of vaccine was associated with working in a multispecialty practice (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6, 4.1) and identifying as a primary care provider (adjusted OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.3, 2.7). The most common reasons for not offering vaccines were cost (44%) and a belief that vaccines should be provided elsewhere (41%).

Conclusion: The high proportion of obstetrician-gynecologists who do not offer vaccines or screen for vaccine and infection histories suggests missed opportunities for prevention of maternal and neonatal infections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control*
  • Female
  • Gynecology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Obstetrics*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Prenatal Care
  • Societies, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Vaccination*