Effects of knowledge, education, and experience on acceptance of first trimester screening for chromosomal anomalies

  • Stefansdottir V
  • Skirton H
  • Jonasson K
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVES: To assess pregnant women's knowledge and understanding of first trimester prenatal screening (nuchal translucency, maternal serum free beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin and pregnancy-associated plasma-protein-A), to evaluate the impact of a new information booklet and investigate the effects of education and experiential knowledge of congenital disabilities on the perceived likelihood of accepting prenatal screening. DESIGN: A quasi-experimental quantitative study with a self-completion questionnaire. SETTING: Five different maternity care clinics in Iceland. POPULATION: Expectant mothers in first trimester of pregnancy (n = 379). MATERIAL AND METHODS: Expectant mothers were divided into two groups, an intervention and a control group, both receiving traditional care and information. The intervention group additionally received an information booklet about prenatal screening and diagnosis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Women's knowledge score of prenatal screening. The correlation between education, knowledge score, experiential knowledge of congenital disabilities, and the likelihood of accepting prenatal screening. RESULTS: More than half of the women (57%) believed they received sufficient information to make an informed decision about screening. Knowledge scores were significantly higher for the intervention group (with mean 4.8 compared with 3.7 on a 0-8 scale, p < 0.0001). Those with higher scores were more likely to accept screening (p < 0.0001). Women with experiential knowledge of congenital anomalies in their own families were more likely to accept prenatal screening (p = 0.017). CONCLUSIONS: Various factors, e.g. experiential knowledge, education and information about prenatal screening affect the likelihood of participation in prenatal screening programs. More information results in better knowledge and higher uptake rate.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Experiential knowledge
  • Genetic counseling
  • Patient information
  • Prenatal screening

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