Public Education

A controlled, prospective evaluation of the acceptability of ultrasound in prenatal care

Reading AE, Cox DN, Campbell S. A controlled prospective evaluation of the acceptability of ultrasound in prenatal care. J Psychosom Obstet Gynecol 1988; 8: 191-8

The psychological reactions of primiparae to the routine use of ultrasound in prenatal care was studied. Women attending between 10 and 14 weeks menstrual age were assigned at random to 2 conditions of real tie ultrasound: (a) high feedback (n=67) in which the monitor screen was visible and feedback as to fetal size, shape and movement was provided; (b) low feedback (b=62) in which specific feedback, via the monitor screen, was denied. Assessments were completed pre and post this examination and at 16 and 32 weeks biphasic scans and following delivery. Women in the high feedback condition showed a uniformly more positive response to the initial real time scan and were more likely following the delivery to nominate this as the most important scan. The implications of providing feedback of this kind are discussed.

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