Exploring the role of religiosity and spirituality in amniocentesis decision-making among Latinas

J Genet Couns. 2011 Dec;20(6):660-73. doi: 10.1007/s10897-011-9378-5. Epub 2011 Jun 22.


Given the complex array of emotional and medical issues that may arise when making a decision about amniocentesis, women may find that their spiritual and/or religious beliefs can comfort and assist their decision-making process. Prior research has suggested that Latinas' spiritual and/or religious beliefs directly influence their amniocentesis decision. A more intimate look into whether Latinas utilize their beliefs during amniocentesis decision-making may provide an opportunity to better understand their experience. The overall goal of this study was to describe the role structured religion and spirituality plays in Latinas' daily lives and to evaluate how religiosity and spirituality influences health care decisions, specifically in prenatal diagnosis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eleven women who were invited to describe their religious beliefs and thoughts while considering the option of amniocentesis. All participants acknowledged the influence of religious and/or spiritual beliefs in their everyday lives. Although the women sought comfort and found validation in their beliefs and in their faith in God's will during their amniocentesis decision-making process, results suggest the risk of procedure-related complications played more of a concrete role than their beliefs.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amniocentesis / psychology*
  • Amniocentesis / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Spirituality*