Prenatal screening for Down syndrome: a survey of willingness in women and family physicians to engage in shared decision-making

Prenat Diagn. 2011 Apr;31(4):319-26. doi: 10.1002/pd.2624. Epub 2011 Jan 26.


Objective: To assess the willingness of women and their family physicians (FPs) to engage in shared decision-making (SDM) as regards prenatal Down-syndrome screening and the factors that might influence their willingness to do so.

Methods: We conducted a survey of participants in Québec City, Canada, using the theory of planned behavior. We used a general linear model and multilevel approach that took the fact that some women consulted the same FP into account.

Results: This study comprised 109 pregnant women and 41 FPs. On a scale of - 3 to + 3, the pregnant women's and FPs' response scores were, respectively, 2.11 ± 1.38 and 2.66 ± 0.40. In women, attitude, significant others, self-efficacy, perceived moral correctness, and their FP's attitude influenced their willingness to engage in SDM. However, women without a post-secondary education were less likely to engage in SDM than women with a post-secondary education, mostly because the former lacked a sense of self-efficacy. In FPs, only attitude and significant others influenced their willingness to engage in SDM.

Conclusion: Overall, the women and their FPs wished to engage in SDM as regards prenatal Down-syndrome screening. Only a few factors influenced this desire which therefore may be modifiable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Attitude
  • Data Collection
  • Decision Making* / physiology
  • Down Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Down Syndrome / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / psychology
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Participation / psychology
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family* / psychology
  • Physicians, Family* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / psychology
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Volition / physiology*
  • Young Adult