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Women offered prenatal screening had varying responses on becoming candidates for higher risk status

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 Q What are pregnant women’s perspectives on becoming candidates for higher risk status, living with this status, and exiting from it when chromosomal abnormalities are ruled out?

DESIGN

Qualitative study.

SETTING

2 hospitals in suburban London, UK. 1 hospital provided second trimester screening (standard site) whereas the other provided first trimester screening (innovative site).

PARTICIPANTS

27 women at different stages of pregnancy. 17 women were primiparas, and 5 were >34 years of age.

METHODS

Purposive sampling after pre-screening interviews with midwives resulted in women being categorised into 1 of 5 potential pathways: screening declined (n = 5), screened at lower risk (n = 14), screened at higher risk but declined diagnostic testing (n = 2), received a diagnostic test (n = 5), or miscarried before screening (n = 1). Women discussed their experiences of the screening and diagnostic process during multiple in-home interviews (total 51) that occurred at different stages of pregnancy. Interview data and consultation recordings were analysed thematically using framework analysis.

MAIN FINDINGS

Women’s decision making about screening was categorised as acceptance of, rejection of, or living with higher risk candidacy, …

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