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Public Health Genomics. 2011;14(4-5):298-306. doi: 10.1159/000314644. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Parental attitudes toward ethical and social issues surrounding the expansion of newborn screening using new technologies.

Author information

1
Hawaii Genetics Program, Children with Special Needs Branch, Hawaii Department of Health, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816, USA. ianne@hawaiigenetics.org

Abstract

AIMS:

This study assessed parent knowledge of newborn screening (NBS) and parent attitudes toward NBS for untreatable conditions, NBS for late-onset disorders and informed consent in NBS.

METHODS:

Seventeen qualitative focus groups were held in Alaska, California, Hawaii, and Washington with mothers of children 10 years old or younger.

RESULTS:

Most participants did not recall receiving information about NBS, and all wanted this information prenatally. In addition, most felt that the current system of 'informed dissent' was adequate, provided they were told about NBS prior to delivery. All women supported NBS for conditions that occur in infancy without a proven treatment. However, they disagreed about NBS for disorders that manifest in late childhood or adulthood.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results show a general consensus among the focus group participants about issues that cause dissent among public health and health care professionals. Parent attitudes differ from those of many professional communities with regard to timing of NBS education, informed consent, NBS for disorders that lack an effective treatment, and predictive testing of children for late-onset disorders. The results highlight the need to further research parent opinions about expanded NBS using new technologies and to include parents in the development of NBS policies.

PMID:
20689248
PMCID:
PMC3214890
DOI:
10.1159/000314644
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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