How do women of diverse backgrounds value prenatal testing outcomes?

Miriam Kuppermann, Robert F. Nease, Elena Gates, Lee A. Learman, Bruce Blumberg, Virginia Gildengorin, A. Eugene Washington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe women's preferences for prenatal testing outcomes and to explore their association with sociodemographic characteristics and attitudes. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 584 racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse pregnant women aged 16 to 47 years recruited from 23 San Francisco Bay Area practices. We assessed preferences for 12 potential prenatal testing outcomes using the time trade-off metric for all outcomes and the standard gamble metric for two outcomes. Preferences were calculated on a scale of 0 (death) to 1 (perfect health). Participants also completed a sociodemographic and attitude survey. Results: Highest preference scores were assigned to outcomes resulting in. the birth of a chromosomally normal infant (mean = 0.91-0.93; median = 0.99-1.00). Lower scores were obtained for outcomes involving pregnancy loss (mean = 0.69-0.87; median = 0.76-0.92), which were correlated with attitudes regarding miscarriage, pregnancy termination, and Down syndrome. The lowest scores were assigned to Down syndrome-affected births (mean = 0.67-0.69; median = 0.73-0.75), which also were correlated with attitudes toward Down syndrome. We did not find a statistically significant relationship between participants' preference scores and age. Conclusion: Preferences for prenatal testing outcomes vary according to the pregnant women's underlying attitudes about pregnancy loss and Down syndrome, and not according to her age. Current age/risk-based guidelines should account for individual variation in patient preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-429
Number of pages6
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Patient preferences
  • Prenatal diagnosis
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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  • Cite this

    Kuppermann, M., Nease, R. F., Gates, E., Learman, L. A., Blumberg, B., Gildengorin, V., & Washington, A. E. (2004). How do women of diverse backgrounds value prenatal testing outcomes? Prenatal Diagnosis, 24(6), 424-429.