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Prenat Diagn. 2001 Jan;21(1):1-9.

Attitudes towards reproductive issues and carrier testing among adult patients and parents of children with cystic fibrosis (CF).

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Department of Clinical Genetics & Human Genetics, Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre, Van der Boechorststraat 7, NL-1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Assessing the reproductive choices of parents of children with cystic fibrosis (CF) is important in getting a greater insight into the possible needs for counselling of carrier couples in the reproductive decision-making process. Also, parents' reproductive attitudes might indicate critical issues for discussion with regard to introducing general population screening programmes. Data were available from two groups of subjects: 287 adult patients with CF (mean age 27.5 years) and 288 parents of a child with CF (mean age of child 7.7 years) who participated in a Dutch national survey. Attitudes towards reproductive issues and carrier screening and parents' reproductive behaviour were analysed in terms of responses to questionnaires. To avoid having another child with CF, most parents decided against further pregnancies or used other reproductive options. Prenatal diagnosis was used by 72% of parents, whereas 76% of parents planning more children intended using this option. Intention to use prenatal diagnosis was associated with the strength of religious conviction, and was not associated with perceived severity of CF, health of the child, or future therapeutic possibilities. Respondents demonstrated difficulties in deciding to abort for CF. A majority of parents and adult patients supported carrier couple identification within CF families. The results suggest that those most closely involved with CF will accept the reproductive choices of carrier couples identified in population screening programmes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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