Women's Experience with Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing and Emotional Well-being and Satisfaction after Test-Results

J Genet Couns. 2017 Dec;26(6):1348-1356. doi: 10.1007/s10897-017-0118-3. Epub 2017 Jun 30.


Increasingly, high-risk pregnant women opt for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) instead of invasive diagnostic testing. Since NIPT is less accurate than invasive testing, a normal NIPT result might leave women less reassured. A questionnaire study was performed among pregnant women with elevated risk for fetal aneuploidy based on first-trimester combined test (risk ≥1:200) or medical history, who were offered NIPT in the nationwide Dutch TRIDENT study. Pre- and post-test questionnaires (n = 682) included measures on: experiences with NIPT procedure, feelings of reassurance, anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, STAI), child-related anxiety (PRAQ-R), and satisfaction. The majority (96.1%) were glad to have been offered NIPT. Most (68.5%) perceived the waiting time for NIPT results (mean: 15 days, range 5-32) as (much) too long. Most women with a normal NIPT result felt reassured (80.9%) or somewhat reassured (15.7%). Levels of anxiety and child-related anxiety were significantly lower after receiving a normal NIPT result as compared to the moment of intake (p < 0.001). Women with inadequate health literacy or a medical history (e.g. previous child with trisomy) experienced significantly higher post-test-result anxiety (Mean (M) STAI = 31.6 and 30.0, respectively) compared to those with adequate health literacy (M = 28.6) and no medical history (M = 28.6), indicating these women might benefit from extra information and/or guidance when communicating NIPT test-results. Introducing NIPT as an alternative to invasive testing, led to an offer that satisfied and largely reassured high-risk pregnant women.

Keywords: Anxiety; NIPT; Non-invasive Prenatal Testing; Prenatal Screening; Reassurance; Satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Down Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Health Literacy
  • Humans
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First / psychology
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / methods
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires