Obstetrician and gynecologists' population-based screening practices

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2016 Mar;29(6):875-9. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2015.1029910. Epub 2015 Sep 25.


Background: The ability to obtain genetic information can now be accomplished in far greater detail, and more quickly than in the past. It is important to understand obstetrician-gynecologists' (ob-gyns) screening practices as these changes occur.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey was performed by mailing paper surveys to Fellows of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a subset of Fellows who belong to the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network (CARN).

Results: Response rates were 57% for the CARN network. Almost all responders (92%) offer population-based genetic screening in the prenatal period and almost all (93%) conduct counseling prior to the provision of genetic testing. Almost all (92%) counsel patients when the result is positive, with 46% being the primary counselor and 55% calling the patient themselves. When results are negative, 73% counsel with 58% indicating they are the primary counselor and 17% call patients themselves. A total of 72% have received continuing medical education (CME) on genetics within 5 years, with 79% receiving CME at conferences and 21% receiving CME online.

Conclusion: Ob-gyns have a large role in providing patients new genetic screening technologies. This role requires a significant knowledge base, some of which can be obtained by online modules; however, our study suggests online education is underutilized as a means for CME on genetic screening among ob-gyns.

Keywords: CME; cystic fibrosis; genetics; prenatal; screening; survey.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Genetic Counseling / statistics & numerical data*
  • Genetic Testing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Obstetrics / statistics & numerical data*