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01.12.2014 | Original Research | Ausgabe 6/2014

Journal of Genetic Counseling 6/2014

Client Views and Attitudes to Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis for Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassaemia and Cystic Fibrosis

Journal of Genetic Counseling > Ausgabe 6/2014
Melissa Hill, Cecilia Compton, Madhavi Karunaratna, Celine Lewis, Lyn Chitty


In the near future the availability of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) for single gene disorders will change the prenatal diagnosis options available to couples who are carriers of conditions such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disorder and thalassaemia. Client opinions about NIPD are needed to inform the implementation of NIPD for single gene disorders. This qualitative study used two focus groups (n = 12) and one-to-one interviews (n = 16) with carriers and support group representatives of sickle cell disease, thalassaemia and cystic fibrosis. Discussions were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Opinions about NIPD were very positive and participants valued the opportunity to have safe and early testing. Uptake of prenatal testing is likely to increase as women who had previously declined invasive testing expressed interest in having NIPD. Participant concerns about NIPD centred on the need for accuracy to be high to be used for subsequent decision making about termination of pregnancy. Participants also raised concerns that less thought may be given to having a blood test compared to an invasive test and that the perceived ease of a blood test may bring increased pressure to have testing. Participants thought NIPD should be offered through existing specialist services to ensure appropriate genetic counseling and support. Maintaining all testing options is important as some people may prefer invasive testing over NIPD if invasive testing was more accurate or if invasive testing could give information about other conditions such as Down syndrome.

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