Informed choice in prenatal testing: a survey among obstetricians and gynaecologists in Europe and Asia

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Abstract

Purpose

To ascertain the extent to which the value obstetricians and gynaecologists attach to informed choice in the context of prenatal testing varies across countries.

Method

The values attached to informed choice and the perceived importance of test decisions reflecting the views of others considered significant to pregnant women were assessed and compared across obstetricians and gynaecologists in six countries: UK (n = 176), Netherlands (n = 331), Italy (n = 254), Greece (n = 116), China (n = 116) and India (n = 123).

Results

While respondents from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands almost unanimously believed prenatal testing should reflect a parental choice (94%), substantial minorities in Greece, India, and China and to a lesser extent Italy, believed testing should either reflect a family choice or no choice (11-41%). Respondents who attached a low value to the views of others attached greater value to parental choice. Multinomial logistic regression analysis confirmed the independent predictive value of a country and perceived importance of test decision reflecting the views of significant others.

Conclusion

While many obstetricians and gynaecologists favour prenatal testing reflecting a parental choice, the extent to which their values may affect the likelihood that informed choice is realised, may vary across countries. The impact of these findings on patient autonomy is raised.

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