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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?


Qualitative study.


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


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


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 …

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  • For correspondence: Dr B Heyman, St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery, City University, London, UK. B.heyman{at}

  • Source of funding: ESRC/MRC Innovative Health Technology Programme.