A prospective study on the effect of rapid aneuploidy testing (amnio-PCR) on anxiety levels and quality of life measures in women and their partners with positive Down screening result

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2008;24(3):165-9. doi: 10.1159/000151332. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


Objectives: To examine the effect of rapid aneuploidy testing by amnio-PCR on anxiety levels and quality of life measures in women and their partners with positive Down screening result.

Methods: In the original design, screen-positive women were to be randomized to have amnio-PCR or not. Of the first 60 women approached to join the study between April 2004 and April 2005, 4 declined amniocentesis, 14 agreed to be randomized, while the other 42 (75%) chose to pay for the amnio-PCR themselves (3 excluded: 2 because of Down syndrome and 1 dropout). The study was thus performed as a prospective observational study on the remaining 39 women of the last group. The longitudinal profile of the state-anxiety and quality of life domain scores for this cohort were studied using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and WHO Quality of Life Measure--abbreviated version (Hong Kong) Questionnaire at 5 time points: (1) before amniocentesis, (2) 2 days after amniocentesis when amnio-PCR report was disclosed, (3) 3 weeks after amniocentesis when karyotyping report was disclosed, (4) 30-32 weeks' gestation, (5) 6 weeks after delivery.

Results: In the final cohort of 39 women and 27 partners, a significant reduction in their state-anxiety scores was found when they received the normal amnio-PCR report. On the other hand, there was no significant change in their quality of life domain scores.

Conclusions: There is a demand from women and their partners who had a positive Down screening result for rapid aneuploidy testing (amnio-PCR) which can effectively alleviate their anxiety. A rapid aneuploidy test should be made available to women in a Down screening programme.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amniocentesis / psychology*
  • Anxiety*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Down Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Down Syndrome / genetics
  • Down Syndrome / psychology
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Fetal Diseases / genetics
  • Fetal Diseases / psychology
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*