Counselling following a diagnosis of congenital heart disease

Prenat Diagn. 2004 Dec 30;24(13):1136-42. doi: 10.1002/pd.1071.


Counselling the parents following a diagnosis of fetal congenital heart disease (CHD) is as important a task for the fetal cardiologist, as the skill involved in achieving an accurate diagnosis. The counsellor will base prognosis not only on the diagnosis itself but also on the security of diagnosis, the stage in gestation and potential for change, the association with extracardiac malformations and the known results of treatment. Depending on the gestational age and legal situation the counsellor is operating in, termination of pregnancy may be one of the options to consider and one that should always be raised in discussion. Thus, the parents may be in the position of making a crucial decision concerning the management of the pregnancy on the basis of the information received, so it is vital that the counsellor is truly able to communicate with them, whatever be their level of understanding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Diseases / psychology
  • Fetal Diseases / therapy*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / psychology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / psychology
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Truth Disclosure