Title

Factors associated with continuing emergence of β-thalassemia major despite prenatal testing: a cross-sectional survey.

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

International journal of women's health

Publication Date

9-25-2017

Abstract

Purpose Health care initiatives focusing on prenatal testing and premarital genetic screening aiming to reduce the incidence of β-thalassemia have emerged during the last decade. In Palestine, 4% of the population are known thalassemia carriers with new cases continuing to appear despite the availability of prenatal testing. This study aims to identify factors that influence the decision to retain or abort fetuses affected by β-thalassemia in Palestine. Methods Convenience sampling was used to select 32 women (72 fetuses) who were at risk of having a baby with β-thalassemia. A questionnaire on prenatal testing, test results, pregnancy outcomes, and factors influencing the decision to terminate the pregnancy were used for this cross-sectional study. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 17. Results Among the fetuses screened, 36 (50%) were thalassemia carriers and 20 (28%) had β-thalassemia; 17 (85%) affected fetuses were aborted. Religious beliefs were the most cited reason for opposing abortion while prior experience with β-thalassemia patients and awareness programs promoted abortions. Mothers who opted to retain an affected fetus had modest educational attainment. Higher educational level was significantly associated with the decision to abort an affected fetus (p Conclusion A religious consensus is needed on the abortion of fetuses affected by β-thalassemia. Improving female education and increasing awareness on thalassemia could help reduce the incidence of β-thalassemia in Palestine and around the world.

Publisher

Dove Medical Press Ltd.

Volume

9

First Page

673

Last Page

679

Disciplines

Education | Medicine and Health Sciences

Keywords

Islam; abortion; awareness; fetus

Indexed in Scopus

no

Open Access

no

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