Testing options for pregnant women at increased risk of common aneuploidies are non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and invasive prenatal diagnosis (PND). Clinicians are challenged to comprehensively discuss the complex information in a patient-centered and non-directive manner, to allow for patients’ informed decision-making. This study explored the information-centeredness, patient-centeredness, and level of non-directivity of different clinicians and examined group differences between their patients. First, semi-structured interviews with four senior obstetricians and one senior nurse were held regarding their information provision, their adaptation of a patient-centered attitude, and their practice of non-directivity. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and rated by four independent researchers. Secondly, 181 pregnant women were included in the study, of whom 82% opted for NIPT and 18% chose PND. Between clinicians, we assessed the distribution of choice ratios, patients’ impression of clinicians’ test preferences, and patients’ knowledge scores. The results indicate that clinicians do not differ in their information-centeredness, but do differ in their patient-centeredness and their level of non-directivity. Significant differences in patients’ NIPT/PND ratios were observed between clinicians, with the largest difference being 35 vs. 4% opting for invasive PND. Between 9 and 22% of the patients had an impression of their clinician’s preference and chose in accordance with this preference. Patients’ overall knowledge scores did not differ across clinicians. In conclusion, the differences in NIPT/PND ratios between clinicians indicate that clinicians’ differing counseling approaches affect the choices their patients make. The interviews indicate a possible framing effect which may unintentionally steer the decision-making process.

doi.org/10.1038/s41431-018-0287-z, hdl.handle.net/1765/110998
European Journal of Human Genetics
Department of Clinical Genetics

van der Steen, S., Houtman, D. (Diewertje), Bakkeren, I.M. (Iris M.), Galjaard, R.-J., Polak, M., van Busschbach, J., … Riedijk, S. (2018). Offering a choice between NIPT and invasive PND in prenatal genetic counseling: the impact of clinician characteristics on patients’ test uptake. European Journal of Human Genetics, 27, 235–243. doi:10.1038/s41431-018-0287-z