Published: 2017-04-27

Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of women in the reproductive age towards prenatal screening for congenital malformations, Alexandria-Egypt

Rehab Elsaid Nour Eldin Youssef, Heba Taha El-Weshahi, Mona Hamdy Ashry


Background: The study was conducted to explore the Egyptian women’s attitudes toward the prenatal screening (PNS) for congenital malformations and termination of pregnancy if medically indicated and assessing their knowledge and beliefs regarding prenatal screening.

Methods: A total of 351 Egyptian women in the reproductive age giving birth to at least one child completed a structured questionnaire to assess their knowledge of prenatal diagnosis and their willingness to undergo prenatal screening as well as their opinions on termination of pregnancy if medically indicated. Women's beliefs were also assessed.

Results: More than half of studied women (52.71%) are lacking knowledge about the availability of the accurate tests for prenatal screening of congenital malformations. After giving information about PNS, more than three quarters (77.5%) of the studied women held positive attitudes toward the prenatal screening for congenital malformations. The other one quarter was either refusing or not sure about their opinion (4.6% and 17.9% respectively). Only 58.7% accepting termination of pregnancy if medically indicated. Positive attitude towards PNS was significantly higher among females with older age (P=0.019) as well as those of higher social class as indicated by higher level of education (p=0.026), urban residency (p=0.046) and working women (p=0.005). Perceived seriousness of congenital malformations and believing in the importance of early detection of such condition were the significant motives to undergo PNS.

Conclusions: There is marked lack of knowledge about the prenatal screening tests among the studied women. After giving information about PNS, most of them shows a positive attitude towards carrying out these tests and about half of them reported their acceptance for termination of pregnancy if medically indicated based on prenatal diagnosis of sever congenital malformations. Emphasis national needs for health education programs about PNS importance and development of well-structured national program for PNS.


Attitudes, Beliefs, Congenital malformations/anomalies, Knowledge, Prenatal screening, Termination of pregnancy

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