Cystic Fibrosis and the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement: Are Obstetrician-Gynecologists Ready to Comply?

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To determine if obstetrician-gynecologists are ready to comply with the April 1997 National Institutes of Health (NIH) consensus statement regarding carrier screening for cystic fibrosis.


A multiple-choice questionnaire was mailed to all active North Carolina nonfederal physicians with a primary specialty of obstetrics and gynecology. Ten questions surveyed the participants' knowledge about cystic fibrosis.


Two hundred eighty-six surveys were returned for a response rate of 30.4%. The respondents differed in their knowledge base depending on their specialty, age, and number of years of experience as a physician. The youngest physicians and the least experienced yielded the highest percentage correct. The questions most frequently answered correctly dealt primarily with clinical information about cystic fibrosis, whereas the questions most often answered incorrectly dealt with carrier frequency and testing information.


The obstetrics-gynecology community is not yet prepared to comply with the NIH Consensus Statement to offer cystic fibrosis carrier screening to couples preconceptionally or prenatally. Further education is necessary before obstetrician-gynecologists can counsel patients adequately.

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