Experiences of pregnant women with genome-wide non-invasive prenatal testing in a national screening program

Karuna R.M. van der Meij*, Qiu Ying F. van de Pol, the Dutch NIPT Consortium, Mireille N. Bekker, Linda Martin, Janneke Gitsels-van der Wal, Elsbeth H. van Vliet-Lachotzki, Janneke M. Weiss, Robert Jan H. Galjaard, Erik A. Sistermans, Merryn V.E. Macville, Lidewij Henneman, Karuna R.M. van der Meij*, Elsbeth H. van Vliet-Lachotzki

*Corresponding author for this work

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Pregnant women’s perspectives should be included in the dialogue surrounding the expanding offers of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), especially now that technological possibilities are rapidly increasing. This study evaluated women’s experiences with the offer of genome-wide (GW) first-tier NIPT in a national screening program. A nationwide pre-and post-test questionnaire was completed by 473 pregnant women choosing between targeted NIPT (trisomies 21, 18 and 13 only) and GW-NIPT (also other findings) within the Dutch TRIDENT-2 study. Measures included satisfaction, reasons for or against choosing GW-NIPT, anxiety, and opinion on the future scope of NIPT. Most respondents (90.4%) were glad to have been offered the choice between GW-NIPT and targeted NIPT; 76.5% chose GW-NIPT. Main reasons to choose GW-NIPT were ‘wanting as much information as possible regarding the child’s health’ (38.6%) and ‘to be prepared for everything’ (23.8%). Main reasons to choose targeted NIPT were ‘avoiding uncertain results/outcomes’ (33.7%) and ‘not wanting to unnecessarily worry’ (32.6%). Nearly all respondents received a low-risk NIPT result (98.7%). No differences were found in anxiety between women choosing GW-NIPT and targeted NIPT. Most respondents were favorable toward future prenatal screening for a range of conditions, including life-threatening disorders, mental disabilities, disorders treatable in pregnancy and severe physical disabilities, regardless of their choice for GW-NIPT or targeted NIPT. In conclusion, women who chose first-tier NIPT were satisfied with the choice between GW-NIPT and targeted NIPT, and most women were favorable toward a broader future screening offer. Our results contribute to the debate concerning the expansion of NIPT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number5
Early online date9 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw, grant no. 543002001).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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