Midwives' attitudes to and knowledge about a newly introduced foetal screening method.

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Abstract

A number of screening procedures are offered by midwives during pregnancy and the number is increasing rapidly. The measurement of nuchal translucency is a fairly new ultrasound method for antenatal screening, primarily for Down syndrome. The results give a better risk calculation than maternal age alone and can mean a decrease in the number of invasive procedures needed to identify this syndrome prenatally. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the midwives' point of view concerning the introduction of the method in two different hospitals. In one hospital it had been introduced as part of a research project while in the other it had been integrated as an offer in the antenatal care programme. A questionnaire was sent to the 80 midwives working in the antenatal clinics serving these two hospitals. A total of 79% of the questionnaires were answered. The results indicate that in both districts, the similarities are greater than the differences with regard to the midwives' education, knowledge and their own opinions of their ability to inform pregnant women about the method. Although most of the respondents were positive to it, a number of midwives felt that, in general, information about foetal diagnosis was a difficult part of their work, mentioning both ethical and practical aspects. This highlights the need for continuing education, standardized policy and an ongoing ethical debate.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
JournalScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Volume18
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Caring Sciences (Closed 2012) (016514020), Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000)

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