Impact of late-onset group B streptococcus infection on families: An observational study

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2021 Jan:256:51-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.10.022. Epub 2020 Nov 1.


Objectives: Understand the parental impact of having a baby affected by late-onset group B Strep (LOGBS) infection. Understand the social, mental and financial impact on parents/carers or family members of those affected by LOGBS infection. Investigate family information needs and experiences of information provided.

Study design: We devised a 57-item online survey, composing of binary and matrix questions and free text answers. The survey was distributed internationally to families with a baby(ies) affected by LOGBS infection. The questionnaire was designed as a collaborative effort by Group B Strep Support, its medical advisory panel members, midwives, neonatologists, parents and volunteer analysts. Data were collected from June to September in 2018.

Results: 531 participants responded. 252 babies (55 %) made a full recovery from their LOGBS infection, 145 (32 %) recovered with long term sequelae and 61 (13 %) died. 126 respondents (32 %) felt there was a minor to substantial impact on their child's day to day life as a consequence of LOGBS infection. 343 respondents (69 %) had not heard about GBS before their child developed LOGBS infection. 338 respondents (77 %) did not receive an information leaflet on GBS. As a result of their child's LOGBS infection, 177 respondents (39 %) experienced either minor or substantial financial difficulty and 314 respondents (70 %) felt that their own or a family member's mental health was affected. 300 respondents (66 %) experienced problems with planning or reduced enjoyment of subsequent pregnancies. 102 respondents (29 %) reported their other children experienced difficulty due to their sibling's LOGBS infection.

Conclusions: The results of our study provide a novel insight into families' experiences following a baby affected by LOGBS infection. Study findings suggests that families suffer significant financial and psychological difficulties as a result of LOGBS infection. Furthermore, information needs are frequently being left unmet.

Keywords: Family perspective; GBS; Group B strep; Late onset group B strep; Neonatal sepsis.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mental Health
  • Parents
  • Pregnancy
  • Streptococcal Infections*
  • Streptococcus agalactiae
  • Surveys and Questionnaires