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Infant Male Circumcision: Healthcare Provider Knowledge and Associated Factors

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journal contribution
posted on 29.08.2016, 00:00 by Erin J. Starzyk, Michele A. Kelley, Rachel N. Caskey, Alan Schwartz, Joan F. Kennelly, Robert C. Bailey
Background and Objectives: The emerging science demonstrates various health benefits associated with infant male circumcision and adult male circumcision; yet rates are declining in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that healthcare providers present evidence-based risk and benefit information for infant male circumcision to parent(s) and guardian(s). The purpose of this study was to assess providers' level of infant male circumcision knowledge and to identify the associated characteristics. Methods: An online survey was administered to healthcare providers in the family medicine, obstetrics, and pediatrics medical specialties at an urban academic health center. To assess infant male circumcision knowledge, a 17 point summary score was constructed to identify level of provider knowledge within the survey. Results: Ninety-two providers completed the survey. Providers scored high for the following knowledge items: adverse event rates, protects against phimosis and urinary tract infections, and does not prevent hypospadias. Providers scored lower for items related to more recent research: protection against cervical cancer, genital ulcer disease, bacterial vaginosis, and reduction in HIV acquisition. Two models were constructed looking at (1) overall knowledge about male circumcision, and (2) knowledge about male circumcision reduction in HIV acquisition. Pediatricians demonstrated greater overall infant male circumcision knowledge, while obstetricians exhibited significantly greater knowledge for the HIV acquisition item. Conclusion: Providers' knowledge levels regarding the risks and benefits of infant male circumcision are highly variable, indicating the need for system-based educational interventions.


The study was supported by funding from the CDC-funded Illinois Public Health Research Fellowship (5T01CD000189-05) and Health Professions Student/Fellow Grant Awards 2011 (HRSA U76HP20207).


Publisher Statement

This is a copy of an article published in the PLoS ONE. © 2015 Starzyk et al.


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