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Fetal ultrasound examination and assessment of genetic soft markers in Sweden: are ethical principles respected?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Lifestyle and rehabilitation in long term illness.
2015 (English)In: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, ISSN 0001-6349, E-ISSN 1600-0412, Vol. 94, no 2, 141-147 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

ObjectiveTo explore procedures for providing information, assessment and documentation about ultrasound soft markers in Sweden. DesignDescriptive, quantitative, cross-sectional survey. SampleEighty-two percent of all obstetric ultrasound clinics in Sweden (covering >90% of routine fetal ultrasound examinations). MethodsPostal questionnaire survey between December 2010 and January 2011. Main outcome measuresItems about provision of information, risk estimation, and follow-up strategies in relation to observed ultrasound soft markers. ResultsMore than 96% of all fetal routine ultrasound examinations were performed at 15-21 gestational weeks, primarily by midwives. Half of the clinics replying wanted prospective parents to be provided with information, but 38 (78%) of the clinics did not routinely inform about assessment of soft markers before the examination. Follow up and decisions on whether to give information when soft markers were found were based on the number and type of the observed markers, whether other structural deviations existed, and on the woman's age and anxiety level. Only at eight clinics (17%) were parents informed about all soft marker findings. At 13 clinics (28%) observed markers were documented/recorded, even though the women were not informed. ConclusionsInformation regarding the assessment and importance of observed soft markers seems to be inconsistent and insufficient. Provision of information and documentation of findings appear to be handled differently at obstetric ultrasound clinics. This suggests that Swedish ethical principles relating to healthcare and ultrasound examinations are incompletely followed and national guidelines appear to be necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 94, no 2, 141-147 p.
Keyword [en]
Ethical principles, fetal ultrasound examination, genetic ultrasound markers, soft markers, second trimester, antenatal care, diagnosis
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Medical Genetics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-246808DOI: 10.1111/aogs.12554ISI: 000348718800004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-246808DiVA: diva2:795395

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Available from: 2015-03-16 Created: 2015-03-10 Last updated: 2015-03-16Bibliographically approved

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Roshanai, Afsaneh HayatIngvoldstad, Charlotta
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Caring SciencesLifestyle and rehabilitation in long term illness
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Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive MedicineMedical Genetics

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