Hereditary hemoglobin disorders are among the most common inherited diseases globally. In Oman, the burden of hereditary hemoglobin disorders has long been recognized as a major public health problem. In Oman, the prevalence of SCD ranges between 0.2 and 0.3% and of homozygous B-thalassemia was 0.07–0.08% while the prevalence of sickle cell trait and B-thalassemia trait reached up to 4.8–6% and 2–2.6% respectively. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) had a high prevalence in Oman, being 25% in males and 10% in females. The premarital screening and counseling (PMSC) program is an important preventative service for the most common hereditary hemoglobin disorders in Oman. The aim of this research is to study the attitude of those with abnormal premarital screening results and the impact of these results. This cross-sectional study was carried out in all primary healthcare centers in the Muscat governorate in 2018 to analyze abnormal premarital screening (PMS) tests results which mainly include sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and G6PD deficiency. Data were collected through telephone questionnaires with those with abnormal PMS test results. The questionnaire consisted of 3 parts investigating sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes toward PMS, and impact of the screening on participants. Of the 159 participants, 72.3% were between 20 and 29 years of age. Over two-thirds (71.5%) took PMS test while engaged. Consanguineous marriage was reported in 38.4% of married participants. The majority (94.3%) of participants believed PMSC to be important and (90%) agreed PMS should be obligatory before marriage. Half took the test as a personal decision while 17% complied with their spouse. Healthcare worker advice accounted for 21.4% of participants’ decisions. Participant response to positive PMS results showed that 23% canceled their engagement, while 13.8% continued with marriage. Overall, 57.9% believed that PMS affected their lives positively. There is a relatively high favorable attitude toward PMSC. More effort is needed to raise public awareness regarding early PMS. Additionally, further genetic counseling before and after PMS testing is essential for the program’s success.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Al-Aama JY (2010) Attitudes towards mandatory national premarital screening for hereditary hemolytic disorders. Health Policy 97(1):32–37
Al-Farsi OA, Al-Farsi YM, Gupta I, Ouhtit A, Al-Farsi KS, Al-Adawi S (2014) A study on knowledge, attitude, and practice towards premarital carrier screening among adults attending primary healthcare centers in a region in Oman. BMC Public Health 14(1):380
Al-Kahtani NH (2000) Acceptance of premarital health counseling in Riyadh city, 1417h. J Family Community Med 7(2):27–34
Alkindi S, Al Zadjali S, Al Madhani A, Daar S, Al Haddabi H, Al Abri Q, Gravell D et al (2010) Forecasting hemoglobinopathy burden through neonatal screening in Omani neonates. Hemoglobin 34(2):135–144. https://doi.org/10.3109/03630261003677213
Al Kindi R, Al Rujaibi S, Al Kendi M (2012) Knowledge and attitude of university students towards premarital screening program. Oman Med J 27(4):291–296
Al-Kindi RM, Kannekanti S, Natarajan J, Shakman L, Al-Azri Z, Al-Kalbani NI (2019) Awareness and attitude towards the premarital screening programme among high school students in Muscat, Oman. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J 19(3):e217. https://doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2019.19.03.007
Al-Riyami A, Ebrahim GJ (2003) Genetic blood disorders survey in the Sultanate of Oman. J Trop Pediatr 49(Suppl 1 July):i1–i20
Al Riyami AA, Suleiman AJ, Afifi M, Al Lamki ZM, Daar S (2001) A community-based study of common hereditary blood disorders in Oman. EMHJ - East Mediterr Health J 7(6):1004–1011 https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/119119
Alsaeed ES, Farhat GN, Assiri AM, Memish Z, Ahmed EM, Saeedi MY, Al-Dossary MF, Bashawri H (2018) Distribution of hemoglobinopathy disorders in Saudi Arabia based on data from the premarital screening and genetic counseling program, 2011–2015. J Epidemiol Glob Health 7(March):S41–S47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jegh.2017.12.001
Al Sulaiman A, Suliman A, Al Mishari M, Al Sawadi A, Owaidah TM (2008) Knowledge and attitude toward the hemoglobinopathies premarital screening program in Saudi Arabia: population-based survey. Hemoglobin 32(6):531–538
Alswaidi FM, O’brien SJ (2009) Premarital screening programmes for haemoglobinopathies, HIV and hepatitis viruses: review and factors affecting their success. J Med Screen 16(1):22–28. https://doi.org/10.1258/jms.2008.008029
Binshihon S, Alsulami M, Alogaibi W, Mohammedsaleh A, Mandourah H, Albaity B, Qari M (2018) Knowledge and attitude toward hemoglobinopathies premarital screening program among unmarried population in Western Saudi Arabia. Saudi Med J 39(12):1226–1231
Eshra DK, Dorgham LS, el-Sherbini AF (1989) Knowledge and attitudes towards premarital counselling and examination. J Egypt Public Health Assoc 64(1–2):1–15
Gharaibeh H, Mater FK (2009) Young Syrian adults’ knowledge, perceptions and attitudes to premarital testing. Int Nurs Rev 56(4):450–455
Memish Z, Saeedi M (2011) Six-year outcome of the national premarital screening and genetic counseling program for sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia in Saudi Arabia. Ann Saudi Med 31(3):229–235
National Centre for Statistics and Information, Oman (2020) Statistics - DATA PORTAL. [cited 2020 Mar 19]. Available from: https://data.gov.om/data#source=National+Centre+for+Statistics+and+Information
Rya AlKamyani, Fatma Al Hinai. 2018. Premarital testing and counselling guideline. 1st. Sultanate Of Oman: Department of women and child health directorate general of primary health care
Saffi M, Howard N (2015) Exploring the effectiveness of mandatory premarital screening and genetic counselling programmes for β-thalassaemia in the Middle East: a scoping review. Public Health Genomics 18(4):193–203. https://doi.org/10.1159/000430837
WHO (2006a) Fact sheet: sickle-cell disease and other haemoglibin disorders. http://www.who.int/mediciacentre/factsheets/fs308/index.html
WHO (2006b) Thalassaemia and other haemoglobinopathies. B118_5-en.pdf. [cited 2019 Apr 25]. Available from: http://apps.who.int/gb/archive/pdf_files/EB118/B118_5-en.pdf
The authors wish to thank the National Genetic Center, Oman, Directorate General of Health services, Muscat region, as well as Lesley Carson for her editorial assistance in the finalization of this manuscript.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study involved human participants who were included in accordance with the ethical standards of the national research committee and approved by the research and ethical committee of the Directorate General of Health Services of Muscat Region, Oman.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
This research is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for award of Genetic Counsellor granted by Royal Hospital, National Genetic Centre, Oman. The authors hereby confirm that it is an original work, representing their academic effort, and that all resources have been fully acknowledged.
About this article
Cite this article
Al Zeedi, M.A.S.A., Al Abri, Z.G. Attitudes and impact among people with abnormal premarital screening test results in Muscat governorate’s primary healthcare centers in 2018. J Community Genet (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12687-020-00493-1
- Premarital screening and counseling
- Abnormal result