OBJECTIVE: To assess practicing obstetricians' knowledge of the etiology and pathophysiology of neonatal encephalopathy and its relationship to cerebral palsy. METHODS: A questionnaire designed to test both knowledge and practice patterns was mailed to 413 members of the Collaborative Ambulatory Research Network of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), as well as 600 randomly selected non-Network ACOG Fellows. The questionnaire was composed of 15 knowledge questions and three clinical scenarios containing seven knowledge questions. Six of the questions directly assessed knowledge of cerebral palsy. RESULTS: Of those who returned the questionnaire, 351 practiced obstetrics and were included in the statistical analyses. For the majority of questions, "Don't know" was the most frequent response. The next most frequent response for 8/13 questions was the correct answer. Performance was strongest as regarded actual clinical practice and relatively weak regarding the antecedents of neonatal encephalopathy and cerebral palsy. The physicians' actual knowledge scores showed a significant correlation with their self-assessments of knowledge (r = .41, P < .001). The majority of physicians rated their training on this topic in medical school, residency, and through continuing medical education as marginal or inadequate. CONCLUSION: The results of this survey identified large knowledge gaps in this area, suggesting a need to develop educational projects to address these deficits by both professional organizations and individual teachers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology