OBJECTIVE. As newborn screening (NBS) programs expand to include conditions that challenge traditional public health criteria, little is known about what influences physicians' attitudes toward screening. We examined the effect of state policy and perceived state policy on pediatricians' attitudes toward screening.
METHODS. Six hundred pediatricians from the American Academy of Pediatrics who practiced in Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, or Illinois were queried about (1) testing high-risk infants and (2) universal NBS for cystic fibrosis (CF), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD), and type 1 diabetes.
RESULTS. A total of 225 (41%) of 548 eligible pediatricians returned 223 surveys with usable data. The majority were supportive of NBS for CF (n = 188 [84%]) and G6PD (n = 130 [58%]), whereas only 25% (n = 55) supported type 1 diabetes screening. Pediatricians who lived in states that screen for a condition were more likely to support screening than those who lived in states that did not (CF: 117 of 119 [98%] vs 71 of 89 [80%]; type 1 diabetes: 32 of 88 [36%] vs 23 of 109 [21%]). Physicians also were more likely to support NBS when they believed that it was offered in their state versus when they believed that it was not (CF: 117 of 119 [98%] vs 52 of 65 [80%]; G6PD: 28 of 32 [88%] vs 75 of 108 [69%]; type 1 diabetes: 7 of 14 [50%] vs 25 of 102 [25%]).
CONCLUSIONS. Most pediatricians are supportive of NBS for CF and G6PD but not type 1 diabetes. Pediatricians who live in states that screen or believe that their states screen are more likely to support screening.