Providing information regarding exposures in pregnancy: a survey of North American Teratology Information Services.
ABSTRACT Teratology Information Services (TIS) provide information on exposures during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Maintaining ongoing funding is a challenge. The purpose was to gather descriptive information on current TIS operations.
All North American TIS (16 American, 2 Canadian) completed a detailed survey.
Service goal ranked as most important was correction of risk misperceptions. Inquiries were primarily for medications (mean 43.5%, S.D. 14.1), lactation exposures, and workplace exposures. Median employees per TIS: three (range 1-12.5). Two TIS only counsel health care professionals (HCPs). Main callers to remaining TIS were pregnant women (mean 46.8%, S.D. 22.8), physicians, and nurses. Calls per week varied (median 20, range 4-600). Median annual budget: US dollars 69,000 (range dollars 3000-335,000). Seventeen TIS collect patient data for research.
This survey was the first to document TIS operations in North America and demonstrates a spectrum of clinical and research activities, and provides data for a future cost-benefit analysis of TIS.