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Parents, siblings, and people with Down syndrome report positive experiences

From Children's Hospital Boston (Original article)

Survey results may inform decisions about prenatal testing

September 21, 2011

Boston, Mass. – Three related surveys led by a physician at Children’s Hospital Boston suggest that the experience of Down syndrome is a positive one for most parents, siblings and people with Down syndrome themselves. The results, published in three reports in the October issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics, may serve to inform expectant parents and clinicians providing prenatal care.

“New prenatal tests for Down syndrome are set to come out as early as the end of this year,” says Brian Skotko, MD, MPP, a clinical fellow in genetics at Children’s Hospital Boston. “Many more women will then learn about the diagnosis prenatally and will need to grapple with very personal pregnancy options. In previous surveys, mothers have reported receiving inaccurate, incomplete and occasionally offensive information about Down syndrome from their healthcare providers."

Skotko and collaborators Susan Levine, MA, CSW, of Family Resource Associates (Shrewsbury, NJ) and Richard Goldstein, MD, of the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, sent surveys to 4,924 households on the mailing lists of six nonprofit Down syndrome organizations around the country. The surveys asked respondents to rate their agreement with statements on a scale of 1-7, and also included some open-ended questions.

Click here to read the rest of the study