Presentation of screen negative results on serum screening for Down's syndrome: variations across Britain

J Med Screen. 1997;4(1):21-2. doi: 10.1177/096914139700400108.


Objectives: To document current practice of communicating screen negative results to pregnant women undergoing a test for Down's syndrome.

Setting: 169 British NHS hospital antenatal clinics currently offering multiple marker serum screening for Down's syndrome and giving results directly to women.

Methods: All 169 clinics were sent a letter asking about the method and form of communicating screen negative results.

Results: In only 29% of programmes were specific arrangements made to inform women of screen negative results, and in 5% these results were not given at all. Screen negative results were given as a verbal phrase in 44% of programmes, as a risk figure in 16% of programmes and as both in 40% of programmes.

Conclusions: These results highlight a gap between screening policy guidelines and practice in the case of Down's syndrome serum screening.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Down Syndrome / blood*
  • Down Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom