Development and validation of a measure of informed choice for women undergoing non-invasive prenatal testing for aneuploidy

Eur J Hum Genet. 2016 Jun;24(6):809-16. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2015.207. Epub 2015 Oct 28.


Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) using cell-free DNA for aneuploidy is a highly accurate screening test; however, concerns exist around the potential for routinisation of testing. The multidimensional measure of informed choice (MMIC) is a quantitative instrument developed to assess informed choice for Down syndrome screening (DSS). We have validated a modified MMIC for NIPT and measured informed choice among women offered NIPT in a public health service. The measure was distributed to women recruited across eight maternity units in the United Kingdom who had accepted DSS. Construct validity was assessed by simultaneously conducting qualitative interviews. Five hundred and eighty-five questionnaires were completed and 45 interviews conducted after blood-draw (or equivalent for those that declined NIPT). The measure demonstrated good internal consistency and internal validity. Results indicate the vast majority of women (89%) made an informed choice; 95% were judged to have good knowledge, 88% had a positive attitude and 92% had deliberated. Of the 11% judged to have made an uninformed choice, 55% had not deliberated, 41% had insufficient knowledge, and 19% had a negative attitude. Ethnicity (OR=2.78, P=0.003) and accepting NIPT (OR=16.05, P=0.021) were found to be significant predictors of informed choice. The high rate of informed choice is likely to reflect the importance placed on the provision of pre-test counselling in this study. It will be vital to ensure that this is maintained once NIPT is offered in routine clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Decision Making*
  • Down Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Down Syndrome / genetics
  • Down Syndrome / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent / psychology
  • Informed Consent / standards*
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*