Asking for a Prenatal Diagnosis After the Birth of a Child with Down’s Syndrome
Three years ago we undertook, in collaboration with André and Joëlle Boue (Inserm U 73), a research project investigating the psychological aspects of prenatal diagnosis following the earlier birth (and sometimes death) of a child with Down’s syndrome. For this study we selected 20 couples who had requested such an examination. These couples present some particularities which justified, in our opinion, a specific study. In a few cases, one of the parents happened to be a carrier of a balanced chromosome translocation, but usually the trisomy was free. Moreover, the mother’s age did not increase the risk factor.
Our investigation was carried out on the basis of a series of one or several interviews, the man and the woman being seen separately. These unstructured interviews, with the fewest possible questions and interventions on our part, were tape-recorded with the permission of our subjects. We then analyzed the precise content of the typed texts of the these interviews.
Two main topics emerged from this analysis
The extreme impact of the birth of a child with Down’s syndrome and the place and role of such a child in the family’s life, and
The relationship between the parents and physician before and after the birth, including the request for a prenatal diagnosis.
by grant D.G.R.S.T. “Socio-économie de la santé” 1976, and grant I.N.S.E.R.M. ATP “Facteurs génétiques dans le développement normal et pathologique” 1979
KeywordsPrenatal Diagnosis Early Birth Extreme Impact Abnormal Child Balance Chromosome Translocation
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