Perception and knowledge of early pregnancy assessment units among perinatal practitioners in Europe

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Objective: To investigate perceptions of early pregnancy assessment units (EPAUs) among perinatal practitioners working in Belgium, France, and Switzerland. Methods: A prospective multinational survey was conducted between September 1, 2015, and May 21, 2016. Obstetricians, gynecologists, medical doctors, radiologists, and midwives were recruited during meetings, via e-mail invitations, or through the websites of regional obstetrics and gynecology scientific societies. The survey comprised 17 questions that assessed the participants’ knowledge, interest, and management of early pregnancy. Results: Of the 871 individuals invited to participate in the survey, 306 (35.1%) responded. Most of the participants were gynecologists and/or obstetricians (225 [73.5%]). A total of 258 (84.3%) participants had no or limited knowledge about EPAUs. Furthermore, 211 (69.0%) participants reported incorrect management when they visualized a gestational sac without embryo and 265 (86.6%) misinterpreted changes in serum levels of chorionic gonadotropin during early pregnancy. In all, 201 (65.7%) participants were interested in collaboration with an EPAU; however, only 125 (40.8%) had sufficient time and resources available to support a patient's psychological distress after early pregnancy loss or salpingectomy. Conclusion: Knowledge about early management of pregnancy was limited among the perinatal practitioners surveyed; however, the concept of EPAUs was welcomed by many.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-299
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number3
Early online date4 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.


  • Adult
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin/blood
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Fetus/diagnostic imaging
  • Gestational Sac/diagnostic imaging
  • Gynecology
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Health Services/organization & administration
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwifery
  • Obstetrics
  • Perception
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First/blood
  • Prenatal Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiology
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal


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