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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Mar;27(1):9-15.

Psychological effects of amniocentesis on women and their spouses: importance of the testing period and genetic counseling.

Author information

  • 1School of Health, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey. kkamile@akdeniz.edu.tr

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate both women's and their spouses' reasons for undergoing amniocentesis, their concerns relating to the procedure as well as their psychological reactions and coping mechanisms during the testing period.

METHODS:

Eighty-five women undergoing amniocentesis and their spouses took part in the study. The couples completed a questionnaire that provided demographic data and insights into their experiences of amniocentesis.

RESULTS:

Age was the main reason for undergoing amniocentesis. When they first learned that they were going to undergo amniocentesis, women were more concerned about the potential danger to their fetus than their spouses. Most of participants believed that their pregnancy would continue after amniocentesis. However, they also stated that they were prepared for an abortion. Uncertainty and tension were two significant emotions experienced by couples while waiting for the test results. For the majority of women (80%) and men (42.3%) the strongest support was provided by their spouses during this period. In summary, we can conclude that the test did have a major psychological impact on both women and their spouses, but did not have a negative impact on their coping mechanisms.

CONCLUSION:

The psychological impact of amniocentesis on women and their spouses does not constitute a major obstacle to their ability to cope. However, a certain number of couples reported feelings of uncertainty, tension and anxiety about fetal injury. We strongly suggest that counseling should be given to high-risk families and that prenatal/antenatal care units must be established.

PMID:
16752871
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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