Skip to content

Main Navigation

Prenatal Education for Cytomegalovirus: Knowledge, Attitudes and Compliance

Congenital CMV (cCMV) is the leading cause of non-genetic sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in children in the US. The disease burden of cCMV may include permanent neurocognitive disability and musculoskeletal impairment. Yet public awareness of this disease remains low. In fact, awareness of cCMV was substantially lower than that of other childhood conditions, such as Down syndrome and spina bifida. Only 15.5% of expectant mothers were familiar with cCMV and few recalled being given information about cCMV from their provider. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists currently does not recommend counseling or preventative hygiene measures to pregnant mothers. This project will promote a collaborative partnership between researchers in CSBS and School of Medicine. We will compare cCMV knowledge, attitudes, and compliance of expectant mothers using 2 different (video and text) prenatal education programs and the impact of this intervention on provider time and attitudes. This project will demonstrate practical applicability and show clear potential for expansion at the national level. The goals align with the strategic goals of the University; one goal is to provide innovative prenatal education to improve health and quality of life. The project promotes student success by involving undergraduate and graduate students in the collaboration, ties directly to the Consortium for Families & Health Research (C-FAHR), and establishes a new collaboration.

Current Status

Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) isa cytomegalovirus infection that is present at birth. Aside from genetic disorders, it is the leading cause of hearing loss in US children. cCMV may permanently impact a child’s ability to speak, learn or move. However, public awareness of the disease remains low. This project established a collaborative partnership between researchers in CSBS and School of Medicine to develop and evaluate print and video cCMV education materials for pregnant women. Women (107) completed a pre-test survey about cCMV at their first prenatal visit and were randomly assigned to receive video or print cCMV education. Because of COVID-19, some women received the materials via email and others in person. After 8-10 weeks, women completed a second survey of their cCMV awareness, knowledge, hygiene behaviors, and attitudes. Women evaluated the educational materials favorably and were more familiar and knowledgeable about cCMV following the education. Women were also more likely to adopt additional hygiene behaviors after education, although some behaviors were more resistant to change than others. Remote education was as effective as in-person education. Future goals focus on scaling the cCMV education and reaching a more diverse audience.


Marissa Diener
College of Social and Behavioral Science
Family And Consumer Studies
Project Owner

Torri Metz
School of Medicine
Obstetrics And Gynecology

Louisa Stark
School of Medicine
Human Genetics

Project Info

Funded Project Amount

prenatal education; cytomegalovirus; pregnancy; infectious disease; public health

Project Status
Funded 2020

View poster (pdf)
Last Updated: 12/7/22