Continuation of Pregnancy Following the Diagnosis of a Fetal Sex Chromosome Abnormality: A Study of Parents' Counseling Needs and Experiences

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Abstract

Parents who decide to continue a pregnancy diagnosed with a sex chromosome abnormality (SCA) experience a variety of emotions as they deal with complex medical and genetic information. To better understand these individuals' psychosocial, educational, and support needs, 26 parents who received prenatal diagnosis of an SCA after 1989 and who had decided to continue their pregnancy were interviewed by telephone. Twenty (77%) reported they initially had a “poor” understanding of the predicted syndrome. All parents later met with a genetics professional. Twenty-two (92%) parents considered sterility and underdevelopment of secondary sexual characteristics to be the most negative aspects of SCAs. Contact with other parents of children with SCAs and with support organizations were generally viewed as helpful experiences. Insight gained from this study should be useful for genetic counselors and other health care providers involved with patients who have received abnormal prenatal diagnosis results.

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