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Keywords:

  • anxiety;
  • Down syndrome;
  • screening;
  • short-message service;
  • Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory

Abstract

Objective

To study the effect of fast reporting by mobile phone short-message service (SMS) on anxiety levels in women undergoing prenatal biochemical screening for Down syndrome.

Method

From January 2005 to December 2006, 2782 women undergoing prenatal biochemical serum screening were randomized into fast reporting by SMS (group A) or without mobile phone reporting (group B). Anxiety levels were measured with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) before prenatal screen testing, before the appointed clinic (when the SMS report had already been given to group A), and 3 days after the appointed clinic (when the full screening report had been given to groups A and B).

Results

For screen-negative women, anxiety scores did not differ between groups before prenatal screen testing and 3 days after the appointed clinic. The state-anxiety scores measured on the second occasion had declined significantly in group A. The state-anxiety scores in both groups increased over the 3-week period after being informed of positive screen results. The trait- and state-anxiety scores at all points did not differ between the two groups of screen-positive women.

Conclusions

The provision of a routine reporting system plus additional SMS report revealed some overall benefits in reducing anxiety among women with screen-negative result. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.