BACKGROUND: The detection of an abnormality during prenatal screening implies that the parents are informed about possible treatment and management of the pregnancy, birth, and postnatal course. This information should enable the parents to make decisions regarding the pregnancy, especially in cases where termination of pregnancy may be an option. The objectives of this study were to investigate how often doctors informed parents about pregnancy termination when the fetus had an anomaly and which demographic factors were related to parental decision-making.
METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study with prospectively collected data of fetuses diagnosed with an abnormality during prenatal screening between 2014 and 2016 in Denmark. We categorized the abnormalities into five long-term prognosis groups and analyzed their association with the doctor provided information about termination. We tested the association between demographic variables and parental decisions using univariate and multivariate statistical analyses.
RESULTS: Three hundred and twenty fetuses were diagnosed with an abnormality. In 67% of these cases, the parents were informed about termination. All parents whose fetus had a lethal prognosis were informed about termination. By comparison, the parents of 98% of fetuses with genetic disorders, 96% of fetuses with poor prognosis, 69% of fetuses with uncertain prognosis, and 12% of fetuses with good prognosis were informed about termination. Of these parents, 92% chose to terminate. A lethal long-term prognosis was the only factor related to parental decision to terminate a pregnancy.
CONCLUSIONS: Doctors mainly informed parents about the option of pregnancy termination for conditions with a poor or lethal long-term prognosis or for genetic disorders. Only conditions with a lethal prognosis were significantly related to the parental decision to terminate the pregnancy.
|Journal||BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 17. Dec 2022|
Bibliographical note© 2022. The Author(s).
- Cohort Studies
- Retrospective Studies
- Decision Making
- Abortion, Induced
- Prenatal Diagnosis
- Congenital Abnormalities/diagnosis
- Parental decision
- Congenital abnormalities
- Prenatal screening
- Termination of pregnancy