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Stakeholder attitudes and needs regarding cell-free fetal DNA testing

Hill, Melissa; Lewis, Celine; Chitty, Lyn S.

Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology: April 2016 - Volume 28 - Issue 2 - p 125–131
doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000251
PRENATAL DIAGNOSIS: Edited by Jane Chueh

Purpose of review To explore stakeholder views on cell-free DNA testing and highlight findings important for successful implementation and the provision of best practice in counseling.

Recent findings Noninvasive tests based on the analysis of cell-free fetal DNA are now widely available in clinical practice and applications are expanding rapidly. It is essential that stakeholder views are considered in order to identify and address any ethical and social issues. We provide an overview of stakeholder viewpoints and then focus on the key issues of informed decision making, test uptake, service delivery and information sources.

Summary Stakeholders are positive about the introduction of cell-free fetal DNA testing into clinical practice. They describe both practical and psychological benefits arising from tests that are safe and can potentially be performed earlier in pregnancy. Key concerns, which include the potential for these tests to have a negative impact on informed decision making and increased societal pressure to have testing, can be addressed through careful parent-directed counseling. As applications for these tests expand it is increasingly important to develop innovative approaches to facilitate good understanding for parents who are offered noninvasive prenatal testing.

aNorth East Thames Regional Genetics Service, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

bGenetics and Genomic Medicine, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK

Correspondence to Dr Melissa Hill, North East Thames Regional Genetics Service, Level 5, Barclay House, 37 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BH, UK. E-mail:

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