Public Education

The Impact of Fetus Visualization on Parents' Psychological Reactions

Kovacevic, M. Impact of Fetus Visualization on Parents' Psychological Reactions. Per- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, Vol. 8 (2), 1993, 83-94

The intention of this study was to examine the short-term psychological effects on parents, if any, of ultrasound scanning - this is, of fetal visualization. The starting hypothesis was that after visualizing the fetus, parents experience a lower level of stress and anxiety. To test that hypothesis, a quasiexperimental/control type of study was conducted. The subjects, all parents (N=296) were divided into two groups: an experimental high-feedback group that watched the ultrasound screen, and a low-feedback control group that could not see a screen. Each group had two subgroups - risk pregnancy and no-risk pregnancy. To test the level of anxiety and stress, a number of scales were administered. The results confirm the positive effect of screening. Stress and anxiety levels were reduced. Statistically significant differences between the groups are found. Additional analysis in this area should be pursued.

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