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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.

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