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Pediatrics. 2011 Dec;128(6):e1434-42. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-1444. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Attitudes toward newborn screening for cytomegalovirus infection.

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1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Newborns are not routinely screened for cytomegalovirus (CMV), the leading infectious cause of developmental disability. Congenital CMV satisfies a number of criteria for inclusion in newborn screening, and screening potentially offers benefits. Screening could also introduce harms such as anxiety and unnecessary costs for the families of the substantial proportion of CMV-infected children who never develop CMV-related disabilities. Our objective was to assess attitudes toward newborn screening for CMV.

METHODS:

We analyzed responses to 5 statements about CMV and newborn screening from 3922 participants in the 2009 HealthStyles survey, a national mail survey designed to include a group similar to the US population with respect to gender, age, race/ethnicity, income, and household size. Two-step cluster analysis was performed to identify clusters of parental attitudes.

RESULTS:

The majority of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed that they would want to have their newborn tested for CMV even if it was not performed routinely (84%), they had to pay $20 (87%), or CMV-related problems never developed (84%). Nearly half (47%) of them "would worry that the CMV test would lead to unneeded doctor visits and expenses," and 32% "think CMV problems are too rare to worry about." Three clusters of parent respondents were identified on the basis of their attitudes toward CMV screening: "strongly in favor" (31%), "moderately in favor" (49%), and "weakly opposed" (20%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Among most parents, costs, worry, and anxiety associated with newborn screening for CMV would be acceptable. Although attitudes were generally favorable, a minority of the parents were weakly opposed to newborn screening for CMV.

PMID:
22084323
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2011-1444
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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