Indexed on: 12 Apr '16Published on: 12 Apr '16Published in: Cardiology in the young
The growing number of women with CHD presents unique challenges, including those related to pregnancy, which can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. We sought to evaluate the perception of paediatric cardiologists towards the reproductive health of women with CHD.Paediatric cardiologists in the United States of America were invited to participate in a cross-sectional, anonymous survey. Information solicited included knowledge of contraceptive methods, experience caring for pregnant women with CHD, and referral patterns including the utilisation of high-risk obstetric and adult CHD specialists.A total of 110 cardiologists responded - 90% with an academic affiliation and 70% with ⩾10 years' clinical experience. Although 95% reported an understanding of available contraceptive options, 32% did not feel comfortable recommending birth control. Pregnant women with CHD were seen by 83% of responders, and 37% of the responders reported a low level of comfort in doing so. Among all respondents, 73% indicated that they would refer a pregnant CHD patient to a high-risk obstetrician and 60% to an adult CHD specialist - almost all respondents would not transfer care to a non-adult CHD cardiologist. Among paediatric cardiologists, 81% indicated that they would resume their patient's care following delivery.Our results illustrate a gap in what physicians feel should be done and the care that they feel comfortable providing pregnant women with CHD. As this population continues to grow, training adult CHD cardiologists with specific skills in reproductive health in women with CHD is the first step to closing the care gap that exists in the management of such patients.