Women’s decision making process regarding prenatal diagnostic testing

Tzafettas, Marilena (2017) Women’s decision making process regarding prenatal diagnostic testing. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


Objective: Expanding the original scope of the study, which was to explore the decision-making process of pregnant women in the uptake of invasive diagnostic tests - amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) – and taking into account the latest emergence of a Noninvasive Prenatal Testing, NIPT, the primary goal of this study was to explore factors that influence women’s decision to have an invasive, a non-invasive or no further testing at all.

Design and sample: The Prenatal Decision Making Questionnaire (PDMQ) developed for the purposes of this study. Following a pilot test and factor analysis, it was distributed to a population of pregnant women (N=421) prior to them receiving their combined screening results. The total sample was divided into three sub-groups according to their risk status (low-intermediate-high) for the analysis.

Results. Logistic regression analysis using the R version 3.0.3 revealed that none of the PDMQ factors had a significant impact on women’s decision to have an invasive test (CVS), whereas the following three factors had a significant impact on the decision to have a non-invasive test (NIPT): negative attitude to doctors and an internal locus of control were associated with the uptake of NIPT, whereas a negative attitude to medicine was associated with rejection of NIPT When risk status was included in the model it was found that uptake of NIPT was predicted by the presence of some level of risk for T21 or T13/T18. On the contrary, uptake of CVS was only predicted by an increased risk for T21.

Conclusion(s): Women’s decision making process in prenatal diagnosis is affected by several factors with personalised risk being one of the key determinants. The findings of this study can be used by healthcare professionals in providing the appropriate support and information and facilitating an informed decision during this stage of pregnancy.

Marilena Tzafettas - PhD Final Thesis.pdf - Published Version

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