Women's knowledge of and attitudes to first and second trimester screening for Down's syndrome


Correspondence: Dr E. M. Wallace, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University, Monash Medical Centre, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia.


One hundred women were interviewed at their first hospital antenatal visit to assess their knowledge of, and attitudes to, first versus second trimester screening for Down's syndrome. Overall, the women had limited knowledge of Down's syndrome, and the prenatal screening and diagnostic tests that are available. However, when informed, the majority of women expressed a clear preference for first trimester screening tests for Down's syndrome, regardless of the rate of miscarriage of Down's syndrome pregnancies between 10 and 15 weeks of gestation. These findings have implications for the planning of prenatal Down's syndrome screening programmes.