Many kidney specialists many need more training and support when it comes to managing women's health issues, according to a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2018 October 23-October 28 at the San Diego Convention Center.

A broad range of women's health issues are intimately related to disease, yet little is known about clinicians' confidence in these issues. To investigate, Monica Reynolds, MD (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Elizabeth Hendren, MD (University of Toronto) and their colleagues sent a 25-question survey to nephrologists in the United States and Canada.

Of the 154 respondents, 58% were from the United States, 53% were women, and the median age was 41- 45 years. Most nephrologists counseled on contraception (65%) or pre-conception planning (76%) to an average of less than one woman per month, though counseling was more frequent in the United States. Nephrologists often lacked confidence managing many women's including menstrual disorders, contraception, osteoporosis and menopause. While female providers were more confident in counseling about contraception (42% vs. 23%), there were no other significant differences in confidence level based on gender or country of practice. Physicians also reported inconsistent documentation of obstetric history even though factors during pregnancy are clinically important for assessing a woman's risk of cardiovascular disease.

"It is our hope that by highlighting these gaps we can target future interventions to improve patient-centered care for women with chronic ," said Dr. Reynolds. "Further research is warranted to develop tools to increase knowledge in training, identify best mechanisms to enhance physician confidence, and facilitate formation of interdisciplinary clinics."