Opportunities and difficulties for counseling at the margins of viability

Patrick Myers*, Bree Andrews, William Meadow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


At the margins of viability, the interaction between physicians and families presents challenges but also opportunities for success. The counseling team often focuses on data: morbidity and mortality statistics and the course of a typical infant in the neonatal intensive care unit. Data that are generated on the population level can be difficult to align with the multiple facets of an individual infant's trajectory. It is also information that can be difficult to present because of framing biases and the complexities of intuiting statistical information on a personal level. Families also do not arrive as a blank slate but rather arrive with notions of prematurity generated from the culture they live in. Mothers and fathers often want to focus on hope, their changing role as parents, and in their desire to be a family. Multi-timepoint counseling provides the opportunity to address these goals and continue communication as the trajectories of infants, families and the counseling team change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Counseling
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Neonate
  • Outcome
  • Preterm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Opportunities and difficulties for counseling at the margins of viability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this