Midwives and information on prenatal testing with focus on Down syndrome

Prenat Diagn. 2015 Dec;35(12):1202-7. doi: 10.1002/pd.4676. Epub 2015 Sep 7.


Objective: To investigate midwives' knowledge of prenatal diagnosis especially Down syndrome, information given by midwives to parents, expectant parents' requests for information and how midwives perceive their own competence to give information.

Method: A cross-sectional, prospective study with a questionnaire was completed by 64 out of 70 midwives working in the outpatient antenatal care in Uppsala County, Sweden.

Results: The midwives had varying and in some areas low levels of knowledge about Down syndrome. Information about Down syndrome was most often given only when asked for or when there was an increased probability of a Down syndrome pregnancy. The most common questions from expectant parents concerned test methods and risk assessments while questions regarding symptoms of Down syndrome and consequences of having a child with Down syndrome were uncommon. The majority (83-89%) had insufficient or no education regarding different prenatal tests. Only two midwives (3%) had received education about Down syndrome, and 9% felt they had sufficient knowledge to inform about the syndrome. More education about prenatal tests and Down syndrome was desired by 94%.

Conclusion: It is important to ensure that midwives in antenatal care have sufficient knowledge to inform expectant parents about the conditions screened for. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Down Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwifery / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*
  • Prospective Studies