Objective: Advances in prenatal genetics place additional challenges as patients must receive information about a growing array of screening and testing options. This raises concerns about how to achieve a shared decision-making process that prepares patients to make an informed decision about their choices about prenatal genetic screening and testing options, calling for a reconsideration of how healthcare providers approach the first prenatal visit. Methods: We conducted interviews with 40 pregnant women to identify components of decision-making regarding prenatal genetic screens and tests at this visit. Analysis was approached using grounded theory. Results: Participants brought distinct notions of risk to the visit, including skewed perceptions of baseline risk for a fetal genetic condition and the implications of screening and testing. Participants were very concerned about financial considerations associated with these options, ranking out-of-pocket costs on par with medical considerations. Participants noted diverging priorities at the first visit from those of their healthcare provider, leading to barriers to shared decision-making regarding screening and testing during this visit. Conclusion: Research is needed to determine how to restructure the initiation of prenatal care in a way that best positions patients to make informed decisions about prenatal genetic screens and tests.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology