Factors limiting the effectiveness of prenatal screening for anencephaly and spina bifida in a high-risk area

Omran, M., McLoone, P., Stone, D., Aitken, D. and Crossley, J. (1993) Factors limiting the effectiveness of prenatal screening for anencephaly and spina bifida in a high-risk area. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 7(4), pp. 461-468. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-3016.1993.tb00427.x) (PMID:8290385)

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Abstract

The effectiveness of a prenatal screening programme in reducing the birth prevalence of anencephaly and spina bifida (ASB) is influenced by three principal factors: the proportion of affected pregnancies screened (uptake), the proportion of affected pregnancies detected on screening (sensitivity) and the proportion of affected pregnancies terminated when detected (compliance). The purpose of the study was twofold: to develop an epidemiologically‐based method for the retrospective monitoring of these three factors and to attempt to quantify their relative importance in relation to the outcome of screening. Data on births and terminations associated with ASB for the period 1976–1986 were obtained from the Glasgow Register of Congenital Anomalies and from the Department of Medical Genetics, Yorkhill Hospitals. Increasing proportions of affected pregnancies screened, detected and terminated were observed, to a greater degree for anencephaly than for spina bifida. The relationships between uptake, sensitivity, compliance and terminations are described in the form of a simple arithmetic expression. In policy terms, further efforts are required to increase all three in order to improve the effectiveness of screening for spina bifida.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McLoone, Mr Philip
Authors: Omran, M., McLoone, P., Stone, D., Aitken, D., and Crossley, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing
ISSN:0269-5022
ISSN (Online):1365-3016

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