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Attitudes of a high-risk group of pregnant Saudi Arabian women to prenatal screening for chromosomal anomalies

Author: Z.A. Babay

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The attitude of 550 pregnant Saudi Arabian women aged > 35 years to prenatal screening for
chromosomal anomalies was investigated. A total of 336 women (61.1%) accepted the general idea of
prenatal screening while 160 (29.1%) did not; 54 women (9.8%) were undecided. There was a high acceptance
of non-invasive methods such as ultrasound (61.3%) and biochemical screening (53.0%) but a low
acceptance of invasive methods (34.2%). The main reason for refusal of screening was the unacceptability
of termination of pregnancy as a treatment option. There were statistically significant differences between
those who accepted the idea of screening and those who did not with regard to their awareness of the
availability of prenatal screening, their rejection of pregnancy termination, their doubt of the accuracy of the
tests and in their belief that chromosomal abnormalities need no be screened for.