Women's opinions on the offer and use of nuchal translucency screening for Down syndrome

Moira A. Müller, Otto P. Bleker, Gouke J. Bonsel, Caterina M. Bilardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To study the attitude of Dutch women to the offer and subsequent (non)use of nuchal translucency (NT) screening for Down syndrome in the first trimester of pregnancy, in a country where screening is not routinely offered under 36 years of age. Methods: An experimental NT screening programme offered to pregnant women, together with a series of questionnaires to be completed before and after the offer and (non)use of screening, in 12 midwife practices in three different health districts. Participants: Cohort of pregnant women who had their first prenatal care visit in the participating midwife practices between 1 June 1999 and 1 January 2001. Main Outcome Measures: Women's knowledge and understanding of prenatal screening tests; attitude towards screening offer; perceived freedom of choice; satisfaction with information given; change in attitude over time. Results: Eighty-six percent of women accepted the offer of NT screening. Seventy percent had previous knowledge of NT screening and 92% considered the information given before screening clear and sufficient. Thirty-nine percent of women felt worried to some extent after being given the information, but only 3% would have preferred not to have been informed at all. Ninety percent of women (including 68% of decliners) agree that information on Down syndrome screening should be extended to all pregnant women and feel competent in deciding on screening participation. Conclusion: When NT screening is offered as a new screening strategy its concept is understood and well accepted. The large majority of women, including the decliners, are in favour of its standard offer. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-111
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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