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Men’s Knowledge About Maternal Serum Screening for Down Syndrome and their Attitude Towards Amniocentesis


The present study aimed to assess (i) the impact of screening consultation on male partner’s knowledge about second trimester maternal serum screening for Down syndrome and on their attitudes toward amniocentesis, and (ii) the concomitant effect of men’s involvement in pregnancy on both knowledge and attitudes. The study included 164 men who accompanied their partners to the screening appointment. Knowledge Questionnaire and Partner’s Involvement in Pregnancy Scale with two dimensions, support and distance, were administered. Involvement in pregnancy was determined using two factors; support and distance. Findings revealed a significant post-consultation improvement in men’s knowledge about the test, but less-educated men and those who were more distanced from partner and pregnancy were less knowledgeable even post-consultation. Compared to before the consultation, most men had a positive attitude toward amniocentesis and were willing to suggest it to their partners in case of positive test results (77 % and 42 %, respectively). The remainder would either leave the decision to their partners (20 %) or were undecided (3 %). Higher perception of distance was associated with men’s unwillingness to be involved in amniocentesis decisions, particularly before consultation. However, the consultation had considerable potential to engage men with this attitude in the decision-making process. The study highlights the need to change woman-oriented prenatal screening practices for Down syndrome to involve their male partners in the consultation.

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The authors wish to thank Željka Superina, who kindly gave up her time to help with recruitment. The study was supported in part by a grant No. from the University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia.

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Correspondence to Bojana Brajenović-Milić.

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Conflict of Interest

Bojana Brajenović-Milić and Tamara Martinac Dorčić declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human Studies and Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all patients before inclusion in the study.

Animal Studies

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.



The following statements describe some of the possible behaviors and thoughts of future fathers. Please read each statement and assess the extent to which each of the following statements applies to you. There are no right or wrong answers.

The numbers indicate:

1. Strongly disagree.

2. Somewhat disagree.

3. Neither disagree/neither agree.

4. Somewhat agree.

5. Strongly agree.

1. I want to know more about pregnancy and childbirth.* 1 2 3 4 5
2. I have supported my wife/partner from the beginning of the pregnancy.* 1 2 3 4 5
3. I talk to my wife/partner about her feelings about the pregnancy.* 1 2 3 4 5
4. I leave decisions regarding the pregnancy and the child to my wife/partner.** 1 2 3 4 5
5. It seems to me that I can’t express my feelings about the pregnancy.** 1 2 3 4 5
6. I go with my wife/partner to her medical appointments.* 1 2 3 4 5
7. My opinion regarding the pregnancy is not acknowledged.** 1 2 3 4 5
8. I have always wanted to become a parent.* 1 2 3 4 5
9. I seek information about pregnancy in different ways (e.g., via Internet, TV shows, books, magazines).* 1 2 3 4 5
10. I am aware of the possible complications of pregnancy.* 1 2 3 4 5
11. I look forward to becoming a father.* 1 2 3 4 5
12. Since the beginning of the pregnancy of my wife/partner, I have felt like a spectator.** 1 2 3 4 5
13. I try to be as attentive as I can to my wife/partner.* 1 2 3 4 5
14. I am not familiar with the progress of the pregnancy of my wife/partner.** 1 2 3 4 5
15. I talk with my wife/partner about the problems encountered during her pregnancy.* 1 2 3 4 5
16. I try to prepare the household for the arrival of the new member.* 1 2 3 4 5
17. My wife/partner involves me in all decisions about the pregnancy.* 1 2 3 4 5
18. I am interested in and read the literature related to pregnancy.* 1 2 3 4 5
19. I do not want to attend the pregnancy course with my wife/partner.** 1 2 3 4 5
20. I help my wife/partner in everything I can to ease her pregnancy.* 1 2 3 4 5
21. I talk with my wife/partner about pregnancy.* 1 2 3 4 5
  1. *perception of support
  2. **perception of distance

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Brajenović-Milić, B., Dorčić, T.M. Men’s Knowledge About Maternal Serum Screening for Down Syndrome and their Attitude Towards Amniocentesis. J Genet Counsel 26, 141–149 (2017).

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  • Maternal serum screening
  • Down syndrome
  • men’s knowledge
  • men’s involvement in pregnancy
  • men’s attitude toward amniocentesis