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Mother's awareness and attitudes towards prenatal screening for Down syndrome in Muslim Moroccans

Authors

  • Amina Belahcen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Mohammed V University – Souissi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rabat, Morocco
    2. Tératovigilance Research Team, Mohammed V University – Souissi, Rabat, Morocco
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  • Meriem Taloubi,

    1. Mohammed V University – Souissi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rabat, Morocco
    2. Tératovigilance Research Team, Mohammed V University – Souissi, Rabat, Morocco
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  • Sana Chala,

    1. Mohammed V University – Souissi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rabat, Morocco
    2. Laboratory of Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Epidemiology, Mohammed V University – Souissi, Rabat, Morocco
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  • Amal Thimou Izgua,

    1. Mohammed V University – Souissi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rabat, Morocco
    2. Tératovigilance Research Team, Mohammed V University – Souissi, Rabat, Morocco
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  • Asmaa Mdaghri Alaoui

    1. Mohammed V University – Souissi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rabat, Morocco
    2. Tératovigilance Research Team, Mohammed V University – Souissi, Rabat, Morocco
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  • This research was conducted at Mohammed V University – Souissi, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rabat, Morocco.

  • Funding sources: None.

  • Conflicts of interest: None declared.

ABSTRACT

Background

Abortion is prohibited and penalized in Morocco. On the other hand, there is no strategy or consensus for prenatal screening for Down syndrome (DS) included into the Moroccan pregnancy monitoring national program.

Objectives

This study aims to explore the awareness and attitudes of women who have a child with DS regarding prenatal screening for DS.

Patients and methods

This is an observational study based on a knowledge, attitude, and practice survey.

Results

Fifty women who have a child with DS agreed to participate in this survey. Although nearly two-thirds of women had not heard of DS or knew what prenatal screening is prior to the birth of the affected child, the majority felt that screening for DS would be useful in the first (84%) or second (90%) trimester. In line with this, most responders would agree to undergo first trimester (84%) or second trimester (80%) screening in a future pregnancy. Most (94%) of the women felt that information on DS screening should be provided to all Moroccan women in early pregnancy and that a public health program for prenatal screening should be established (94%). Deficit in knowledge was detected in awareness that first trimester ultrasound may allow screening for DS.

Conclusion

Women who have a child with DS have low awareness of existing screening tests for the condition but have a positive attitude towards them. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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