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Prenat Diagn. 2006 Feb;26(2):105-11.

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

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. m.a.muller@amc.uva.nl



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.


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.


Cohort of pregnant women who had their first prenatal care visit in the participating midwife practices between 1 June 1999 and 1 January 2001.


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.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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