Prenatal counseling for extreme prematurity at the limit of viability: A scoping review

Lien De Proost*, Rosa Geurtzen, Hafez Ismaili M'hamdi, I. K.M.(Irwin) Reiss, E. A.P.(Eric) Steegers, E. J. (Joanne) Verweij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Objectives: To explore, based on the existing body of literature, main characteristics of prenatal counseling for parents at risk for extreme preterm birth. Methods: A scoping review was conducted searching Embase, Medline, Web of Science, Cochrane, CINAHL, and Google Scholar. Results: 46 articles were included. 27 of them were published between 2017 and 2021. More than half of them were conducted in the United States of America. Many different study designs were represented. The following characteristics were identified: personalization, parent-physician relationships, shared decision-making, physician bias, emotions, anxiety, psychosocial factors, parental values, religion, spirituality, hope, quality of life, and uncertainty. Conclusions: Parental values are mentioned in 37 of the included articles. Besides this, uncertainty, shared decision-making, and emotions are most frequently mentioned in the literature. However, reflecting on the interrelation between all characteristics leads us to conclude that personalization is the most notable trend in prenatal counseling practices. More and more, it is valued to adjust the counseling to the parent(s). Practice implications: This scoping review emphasizes again the complexity of prenatal counseling at the limit of viability. It offers an exploration of how it is currently approached, and reflects on how future research can contribute to optimizing it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1743-1760
Number of pages18
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number7
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Nov 2021


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