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A cross-country comparison of pregnant women's decision-making and perspectives when opting for non-invasive prenatal testing in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Prenatal Diagnosis 2023 Februrary 6
BACKGROUND: The Netherlands and Belgium have been among the first countries to offer non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) as a first-tier screening test. Despite similarities, differences exist in counseling modalities and test uptake. This study explored decision-making and perspectives of pregnant women who opted for NIPT in both countries.

METHODS: A questionnaire study was performed among pregnant women in the Netherlands (NL) (n=587) and Belgium (BE) (n=444) opting for NIPT, including measures on informed choice, personal and societal perspectives on trisomy 21, 18 and 13 and pregnancy termination.

RESULTS: Differences between Dutch and Belgian women were shown in the level of informed choice (NL:83% vs BE:59%,p<0.001), intention to terminate the pregnancy in case of confirmed trisomy 21 (NL:51% vs BE:62%,p=0.003) and trisomy 13/18 (NL:80% vs BE:73%,p=0.020). More Belgian women considered trisomy 21 a severe condition (NL:64% vs BE:81%,p<0.001). Belgian women more frequently indicated that they believed parents are judged for having a child with trisomy 21 (BE:42% vs NL:16%,p<0.001) and were less positive about quality of care and support for children with trisomy 21 (BE:23% vs NL:62%,p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Differences in women's decision-making regarding NIPT and the conditions screened for may be influenced by counseling aspects and country-specific societal and cultural contexts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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