, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 476-485
Date: 21 May 2011

Acceptability of Prenatal Diagnosis by a Sample of Parents of Sickle Cell Anemia Patients in Cameroon (Sub-Saharan Africa)

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Abstract

Little is known about attitudes of parents of Sickle Cell Anemia patients in sub-Saharan Africa regarding prenatal genetic diagnosis and termination of an affected pregnancy. In this study, structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with a sample of 130 parents in Cameroon that had at least one living child with Sickle Cell Anemia. The majority of participants lived in urban areas (89%), were female (80%), Christian (93%), married (60.2%) in monogamous households (81.1%), were employed (61.7%), and had at least a secondary or tertiary education (82%). The majority of parents accepted the principle of prenatal genetic diagnosis for Sickle Cell Anemia (89.8%) and termination of pregnancy (62.5%). Acceptance of the principle of pregnancy termination increased with unemployment (p < .01) and single marital status (p < .05). The results of this study suggest Cameroonian parents with children affected with Sickle Cell Anemia generally accept the principles of prenatal diagnosis and in some cases termination of a pregnancy affected with Sickle Cell Anemia. Additional findings, policy and practice implications, and research recommendations are presented.