In order to determine whether there is an increased risk of having a child with Down syndrome
and/or neural tube defects, it is possible to perform prenatal screening. Maternal serumscreening or
Triple test is performed in the second trimester, while the nuchal translucency or NT-test (combined
with some serum markers) is performed in the first trimester of pregnancy. At present prenatal
screening is not offered routinely and it is not clear whether the advantages of screening (e.g.
reassurance of pregnant women, detection of a higher number of congenital defects) outweigh
the disadvantages ( e.g. medicalization of pregnancies, misunderstanding of test results and anxiety
of pregnant women). The present study aims to give insight into the psychosocial consequences of
offering prenatal screening to pregnant women, and into their understanding of the test results, their
risk perception and their decision making whether or not to undergo prenatal screening and/or
invasive diagnostics. Two groups of women (stratified according to age) are offered one of the two
screening tests by their midwive or gynaecologist. These groups and two control groups are asked
to fill in questionnaires at five points in time.