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Beyond the Brochure

Innovations in Clinical Counseling Practices for Prenatal Genetic Testing Options

Knutzen, Dana, MS, LGC; Stoll, Katie, MS, LGC

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: January/March 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 12–25
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000374
Feature Articles: Continuing Education

Remarkable advancements related to preconception and prenatal genetic screening have emerged in recent years. While technology and testing options are more numerous and complex; fundamental genetic counseling issues remain the same. It is essential that with any prenatal genetic testing, women have an opportunity to make informed and autonomous decisions that are consistent with their personal needs and values. Opportunities to discuss testing options, including potential benefits and limitations, are often limited in obstetric visits due to time constraints or lack of sufficient provider education. As genetic testing is not considered a routine component of antepartum care, review of information regarding testing options is imperative so women can decide which, if any, testing to pursue. Developing new strategies to address the growing complexity of prenatal testing while ensuring provider education is accurate is crucial in imparting evidence-based care. This article will arm providers with the knowledge needed to educate women about currently available prenatal genetic screening and diagnostic tests along with guidance on the essential elements and importance of genetic counseling.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine (Ms Knutzen); and Genetic Support Foundation (Ms Stoll).

Corresponding Author: Dana Knutzen, MS, LGC, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, 315 N San Saba, Ste 930, San Antonio, TX 78207 (

Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for Authorship.

Submitted for publication: July 29, 2018; accepted for publication: September 17, 2018.

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