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Obstet Gynecol. 1987 Nov;70(5):673-6.

The psychological impact of diagnostic ultrasound.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Grace Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


The psychological impact of ultrasound scanning in pregnancy was examined in low- and high-risk pregnancies. Women in each category were assigned consecutively to a condition of either low or high feedback. In the latter condition, the women received extensive verbal and visual feedback, whereas in the former, subjects were denied visual access to the monitor. Psychological changes were measured using the State Anxiety Inventory and the Subjective Stress Scale. When a male partner attended, he was included in the assessment. The emotional impact of ultrasound was influenced by the level of feedback provided, with those in the high-feedback condition indicating significantly less anxiety and more positive emotional experiences during the scan, compared with those who received less feedback.

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