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J Cyst Fibros. 2007 May;6(3):250-4. Epub 2006 Oct 23.

Newborn screening for CF in a regional paediatric centre: the psychosocial effects of false-positive IRT results on parents.

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  • 1Academic Unit of Behavioural Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, 15 Hyde Terrace, Leeds LS2 9LT, UK.


Neonatal screening for cystic fibrosis (CF) has been established in Leeds since 1975. The current method is measuring IRT and genotyping. Newborn screening for CF results in a small but significant number of false positives. This study explored the psychosocial reactions to such results in a group of parents (N=21) using semi-structured interviews. Responses were analysed using descriptive statistics and well-validated content analysis. Mothers described a range of emotions during the screening process including anxiety, distress and upset. Waiting for the repeat IRT test results was identified as the most emotionally difficult stage. Discussion focuses on good practice and implications for CF services.

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