Objective We aimed to conduct an analysis of the associations between the information provision procedure of prenatal screening for Down’s syndrome and congenital anomalies and the intention to participate in prenatal screening (PS) of ethnicity groups and Dutch language proficiency groups. Design Using a prospective web-based registration form, we asked counselors (midwives, general practitioners, nurses and gynecologists) to report whether and how they offered information about PS to pregnant women. Duration The study was conducted from 2008 to 2010. Participants We collected data on the characteristics of the women who received an information offer about PS from counselors. Measurements Measures included socio-demographic and language proficiency level (LPL) characteristics, key elements of the provision procedure of PS, and intentional participation in PS. Findings The dataset represents 37% of the total population in the study area. Women with a non-native Dutch background and/or insufficient Dutch LPL received fewer information offers about PS, faced a reduced chance of receiving counseling, and showed lower intentional participation rates for PS. Key Conclusions Women with a non-native Dutch background and/or with an insufficient LPL are underserved in the Dutch PS program. These findings present evidence indicating that the fundamental principle of the Dutch Population Screening Act, namely, equal access to PS for all pregnant women, is not being realized. Implications for Practice Therefore, the study findings are important for national and international healthcare, policy makers and governmental professionals to allow ethnic and LPL-related differences in the provision and intentional uptake of PS.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Counseling, Ethnicity, Inequalities, Language proficiency, Prenatal screening
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10995-017-2364-2, hdl.handle.net/1765/101912
Journal Maternal and Child Health Journal
Citation
Peters, I.A, Heetkamp, K.M. (Kirsten M.), Ursem, N.T.C, Steegers, E.A.P, Denktaş, S, & Knapen, M.F.C.M. (2017). Ethnicity and Language Proficiency Differences in the Provision of and Intention to Use Prenatal Screening for Down’s Syndrome and Congenital Anomalies. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 1–12. doi:10.1007/s10995-017-2364-2