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J Genet Couns. 2013 Feb;22(1):76-89. doi: 10.1007/s10897-012-9498-6. Epub 2012 Apr 3.

Prenatal genetic testing: an investigation of determining factors affecting the decision-making process.

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University G. d'Annunzio, Chieti-Pescara, Italy.


Despite the increase in popularity of prenatal genetic testing, relatively little is known about the role psychological factors play in the decision-making process. In this analogue study, a sample of Italian female university students was used to investigate determining factors that predict the intention of undergoing prenatal genetic testing. Structural Equation Modelling was used to describe the dynamic interplay between knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and health-related behaviour such as prenatal genetic testing. Following the Theory of Reasoned Action, three dimensions predicted the intention to undergo prenatal genetic testing: the need for more scientific information, a positive attitude towards genetic testing, and the inclination to terminate pregnancy after receiving a positive test result. Results showed that less religious women tended to be more in favour of prenatal tests and in undertaking such tests. This preliminary study provides genetic counsellors and policy makers with a clearer picture of their clients' motives and attitudes behind the decision-making process of prenatal genetic testing, contributing to improving both the communication process between counsellors and their clients and the organization of genetic services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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