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Pre- and post-testing counseling considerations for the provision of expanded carrier screening : exploration of European geneticists’ views

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Abstract
Background: Carrier screening is generally performed with the aim of identifying healthy couples at risk of having a child affected with a monogenic disorder to provide them with reproductive options. Expanded carrier screening (ECS), which provides the opportunity for multiple conditions to be screened in one test, offers a more cost-effective and comprehensive option than screening for single disorders. However, implementation of ECS at a population level would have implications for genetic counseling practice. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with sixteen European clinical and molecular geneticists with expertise in carrier screening to explore their views on the implementation of ECS in the clinical setting. Results: Using inductive content analysis, we identified content categories relevant to the pre- and post-test settings. Participants believed ECS would ideally be targeted at couples before pregnancy. There was some disagreement regarding the acceptability of performing ECS in individuals, with several participants actively opposing individual-based screening. In addition, participants discussed the importance of ensuring informed and voluntary participation in ECS, recommending measures to minimize external pressure on prospective parents to undergo testing. A need for adequate counseling to foster informed, autonomous reproductive decision-making and provide support for couples found to be at risk was emphasized. Conclusions: Practical challenges in optimizing pre-test education and post-test counseling should not be underestimated and they should be carefully addressed before implementing ECS in the clinical setting.
Keywords
Expanded carrier screening, Pre-test counseling, Post-test counseling, Interviews, CYSTIC-FIBROSIS, GAUCHER-DISEASE, IMPLEMENTATION, CARE, GYNECOLOGISTS, OBSTETRICIANS, PERSPECTIVES, DECISIONS, STATEMENT, KNOWLEDGE

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Chicago
Janssens, Sandra, Davit Chokoshvili, Danya F Vears, Anne De Paepe, and Pascal Borry. 2017. “Pre- and Post-testing Counseling Considerations for the Provision of Expanded Carrier Screening : Exploration of European Geneticists’ Views.” Bmc Medical Ethics 18.
APA
Janssens, Sandra, Chokoshvili, D., Vears, D. F., De Paepe, A., & Borry, P. (2017). Pre- and post-testing counseling considerations for the provision of expanded carrier screening : exploration of European geneticists’ views. BMC MEDICAL ETHICS, 18.
Vancouver
1.
Janssens S, Chokoshvili D, Vears DF, De Paepe A, Borry P. Pre- and post-testing counseling considerations for the provision of expanded carrier screening : exploration of European geneticists’ views. BMC MEDICAL ETHICS. 2017;18.
MLA
Janssens, Sandra, Davit Chokoshvili, Danya F Vears, et al. “Pre- and Post-testing Counseling Considerations for the Provision of Expanded Carrier Screening : Exploration of European Geneticists’ Views.” BMC MEDICAL ETHICS 18 (2017): n. pag. Print.
@article{8528515,
  abstract     = {Background: Carrier screening is generally performed with the aim of identifying healthy couples at risk of having a child affected with a monogenic disorder to provide them with reproductive options. Expanded carrier screening (ECS), which provides the opportunity for multiple conditions to be screened in one test, offers a more cost-effective and comprehensive option than screening for single disorders. However, implementation of ECS at a population level would have implications for genetic counseling practice. 
Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with sixteen European clinical and molecular geneticists with expertise in carrier screening to explore their views on the implementation of ECS in the clinical setting. 
Results: Using inductive content analysis, we identified content categories relevant to the pre- and post-test settings. Participants believed ECS would ideally be targeted at couples before pregnancy. There was some disagreement regarding the acceptability of performing ECS in individuals, with several participants actively opposing individual-based screening. In addition, participants discussed the importance of ensuring informed and voluntary participation in ECS, recommending measures to minimize external pressure on prospective parents to undergo testing. A need for adequate counseling to foster informed, autonomous reproductive decision-making and provide support for couples found to be at risk was emphasized. 
Conclusions: Practical challenges in optimizing pre-test education and post-test counseling should not be underestimated and they should be carefully addressed before implementing ECS in the clinical setting.},
  articleno    = {46},
  author       = {Janssens, Sandra and Chokoshvili, Davit and Vears, Danya F and De Paepe, Anne and Borry, Pascal},
  issn         = {1472-6939},
  journal      = {BMC MEDICAL ETHICS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {10},
  title        = {Pre- and post-testing counseling considerations for the provision of expanded carrier screening : exploration of European geneticists{\textquoteright} views},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12910-017-0206-9},
  volume       = {18},
  year         = {2017},
}

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