Surveys of professionals carried out in a number of European countries have shown that there are gaps in health professional knowledge of CMV. This is even the case amongst specialists. For example, most obstetricians and midwives surveyed in France were unaware of the precise transmission route. Paediatricians and Obstetricians in the Netherlands tended to underestimate prevelance. And only one fifth of these specialists were aware that kissing and changing nappies are risk factors for the transmission of CMV.
Working with researchers and clinicials at St Georges University of London we set out to discover whether there are similar gaps in professional knowledge in the UK. Our survey compared professional’s knowledge of CMV to other infectious diseases and risk factors in pregnancy. It also explored knowledge of prevention measures and attitudes towards prevention. Views were collected from via paper or online survey from 79 midwives, 55 GPs and 39 obstetricians/gynocologists working mainly in London and the South East.
The results showed that many of the professionals surveyed (60% of GPs and 40% of specialists) were not confident in their knowledge of CMV. Their responses also showed better factual knowledge of other less common pregnancy issues . However more than 90% of professionals surveyed (and almost 100% of midwives) felt that pregnant women should be given advice about risk reduction. And when midwives reported having heard of prevention measures, most also reported that they discussed risk reduction with women.
These surveys show a clear gap between professional willingness to discuss CMV risk reduction and the knowledge they need to do so effectively. The results of these surveys (available to download below) are being used by CMV Action and St Georges to develop training materials and clear information that can support discussions with pregnant women.