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Ir Med J. 2007 Mar;100(3):405-7.

Prenatal screening and diagnosis.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.


In Ireland there is no accepted national policy on the provision of prenatal screening and diagnosis and the availability of such tests is inconsistent. The aim of this study was to assess contemporary practice patterns of consultant obstetricians, specialist registrars in obstetrics and gynaecology and general practitioners regarding prenatal screening and diagnosis. A questionnaire was mailed to all 130 consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists, all 38 specialist registrars and to a random sample of 600 general practitioners, extracted from their database by the Irish College of General Practitioners. Data from the returned questionnaires was analysed using SPSS V.12.10. (SPSS inc., Chicago, IL). Overall 768 questionnaires were distributed with a response rate of 48% (371). Seventy five percent of respondants felt that patient demand for screening and diagnosis of fetal abnormalities has significantly increased compared with 5 years ago. Seventy two percent of respondants felt that detailed ultrasound examination of the fetus should be provided to all obstetric patients, irrespective of risk factors. However only 10% of respondants routinely discuss screening for fetal aneuploidy with antenatal patients. All agreed that depending on the particular patient, both invasive diagnostic and non-invasive screening tests should be available to patients. While it is reassuring that the majority of obstetricians support routine sonographic screening for fetal anatomy, there is a lack of consensus and knowledge regarding contemporary approaches to screening for fetal aneuploidy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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