Negative Response to Uncertain Prenatal Microarray Results

Findings show women's reactions to unclear test results highlight need for support

THURSDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Women do not necessarily consider the potential significance and ambiguity of the information they could receive from prenatal microarray testing, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in Genetics in Medicine.

Barbara A. Bernhardt, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted telephone interviews with 23 women receiving abnormal prenatal microarray results as part of the multicenter prospective study "Prenatal Cytogenetic Diagnosis by Array-based Copy Number Analysis."

The researchers found the five elements dominating the experiences of women who had received abnormal prenatal microarray results to be as follows: an offer too good to pass up (women could get more information about their baby's health at no additional cost or risk); blindsided by the results; uncertainty and unquantifiable risks; need for support; and toxic knowledge (knowledge they wish they didn't have).

"As prenatal microarray testing is increasingly used, uncertain findings will be common, resulting in greater need for careful pre- and posttest counseling and more education of and resources for providers so they can adequately support the women who are undergoing testing," the authors write.

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