Japanese women's attitudes towards routine ultrasound screening during pregnancy

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Abstract

Because there are few published studies from Eastern countries concerning women's experiences of prenatal ultrasound scans, this study investigated this topic in 238 Japanese women in three different prenatal settings. A cross-sectional questionnaire of 33 items was administered to 261 women at 14–37 weeks gestation with no known obstetrical risk, after their ultrasounds. The main reasons for the ultrasounds were evaluation of fetal growth (100%, n = 238); obstetrical conditions (n = 228, 96%); and fetal abnormalities (91%, n = 217). With increasing maternal age, participants worried more about obstetric problems or fetal abnormalities. Many were interested in fetal viability in early pregnancy, and obstetric problems or fetal abnormality in late pregnancy. While most (n = 234, 98%) looked forward to having scans, the majority (n = 235, 99%) wanted to know if their baby had an anomaly, and 72% (n = 171) worried about the detection of abnormalities. Only 50% (n = 118) had obtained information from their care provider. To assist with women's decision-making, prenatal care providers should provide quality information and understand the factors that influence women's concerns.

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