Factors Influencing Patient Decisions to Decline Prenatal Genetic Counseling: A Pilot Study. By Theresa Mihalic
No studies to date have explored reasons why patients referred for prenatal genetic counseling (GC) would decline this service. The goal of this study was to pilot test a survey designed to elicit factors that influence patients to decline prenatal GC at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Patients who declined prenatal GC from January to April 2010 at UNC were mailed a survey to complete and return. Patients who planned to attend their prenatal GC appointment were matched by referral indication and identified as a control population. A total of 6 decline and 5 control participants returned the survey, for a response rate of 30% and 25% respectively. Survey responses were tabulated as preliminary descriptive data. Preliminary data suggests that patients who decline prenatal GC may have a lack of understanding about GC, misconceptions about GC or what is discussed during a GC session, or different health beliefs than those patients who do not decline their prenatal GC appointment. It was anticipated that the results of this study would identify factors that may influence patients to decline genetic counseling, so that strategies to overcome these factors can be explored.