Maternal serum α-fetoprotein screening: The effect of participation on anxiety and attitude toward pregnancy in women with normal results

Barbara K. Burton*, Robert G. Dillard, Elizabeth N. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the psychological impact of maternal serum α-fetoprotein screening on pregnant women with normal results and their male partners. Assessments of anxiety (as measured by the state-trait anxiety inventory) and attitudes toward pregnancy (as measured by the maternal attitude to pregnancy instrument) were conducted sequentially beginning at 16 weeks' gestation in women participating in the maternal serum α-fetoprotein screening with normal results and in women without access to screening. Screened subjects exhibited similar or lower levels of anxiety at each point in time as compared to unscreened subjects. In addition, they exhibited a similar or more positive attitude toward pregnancy. No differences in anxiety were observed between male partners in the two groups. Participation in screening appeared to have no adverse psychological effect on the subjects studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-543
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Volume152
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1985

Keywords

  • pregnancy
  • screening
  • α-Fetoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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