Background: Since July 1998 all Dutch women (+/- 200,000/y) are screened for red cell antibodies, other than anti-RhesusD (RhD) in the first trimester of pregnancy, to facilitate timely treatment of pregnancies at risk for hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN). Evidence for benefits, consequences and costs of screening for non-RhD antibodies is still under discussion. The screening program was evaluated in a nation-wide study. As a part of this evaluation study we investigated, according to the sixth criterium of Wilson and Jüngner, the acceptance by pregnant women of the screening program for non-RhD antibodies.
Methods: Controlled longitudinal survey, including a prenatal and a postnatal measurement by structured questionnaires.
Main outcome measures: information satisfaction, anxiety during the screening process (a.o. STAI state inventory and specific questionnaire modules), overall attitude on the screening program. Univariate analysis was followed by standard multivariate analysis to identify significant predictors of the outcome measures.
Participants: 233 pregnant women, distributed over five groups, according to the screening result.
Results: Satisfaction about the provided information was moderate in all groups. All screen- positive groups desired more supportive information. Anxiety increased in screen- positives during the screening process, but decreased to basic levels postnatally. All groups showed a strongly positive balance between perceived utility and burden of the screening program, independent on test results or background characteristics.
Conclusion: Women highly accept the non-RhD antibody screening program. However, satisfaction about provided information is moderate. Oral and written information should be provided by obstetric care workers themselves, especially to screen-positive women.