Prenatal Care Providers and Influenza Prevention and Treatment: Lessons from the Field
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- Mersereau, P.W., Layton, C.M., Smith, L.R. et al. Matern Child Health J (2012) 16: 479. doi:10.1007/s10995-011-0753-5
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To better understand the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of providers regarding influenza infection and vaccination in pregnancy, fourteen focus groups were conducted among 92 providers in Atlanta, GA; Dallas, TX; and Portland, OR in late 2009. NVivo 8.0 was used for analysis. Most providers had no experience with pregnant women severely affected by influenza. Many perceived the 2009 H1N1 pandemic to be limited and mild. Providers knew that pregnant women should receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine and reported plans to vaccinate more patients than the previous season. Most knew CDC guidelines for antiviral treatment and prophylaxis, but some reported hesitancy with presumptive treatment. Although awareness of influenza’s potential to cause severe illness in pregnant women was observed, providers’ experience and comfort with influenza prevention and treatment was suboptimal. Sustained efforts to educate prenatal care providers about influenza in pregnancy through trusted channels are critical.