Lack of institutional pathways for referral: results of a survey among pediatric surgeons on prenatal consultation for congenital anomalies

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ObjectiveThis paper aimed to assess pathways through which pediatric surgeons receive couples for prenatal consultation after prenatal diagnosis.MethodA questionnaire was mailed to pediatric surgical centers to assess the following: (1) surgical caseload per year; (2) number of centers in which prenatal consultation is offered; (3) presence of a ‘structured’ prenatal consultation clinic; (4) number of consultations per year; (5) pathways for referral to the pediatric surgeon; and (6) the availability of psychological counseling.ResultsResponse rate was 81%, (42/52 centers). Thirty-eight centers (93%) offered prenatal consultation. Seven centers (18%) reported to have a ‘structured’ clinic in terms of time and location. In 13 centers (34%), 1–9 consultations were carried out, from 10 to 19 in18 centers (47%), from 20 to over 50 in 7 centers (18%). In 34 centers, internal referrals from the obstetric departments were counseled, and in 28 centers, there were also external referrals. Eleven centers reported that couples were self-referred. Information regarding prenatal counseling was available on the institutional website in 10/38 (26%) centers. Psychological counseling was available in 36 centers.ConclusionDespite the fact that the majority of pediatric surgical centers provides prenatal consultation, caseloads are very variable as are referral modalities. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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