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Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2017, 3(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijns3020012

Indifferent or Uninformed? Reflections of Health Professionals on Parental Education and Consent for Expanded Newborn Screening in Israel, 2008–2016

Department of Medical Education, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv, Israel
Academic Editor: Harvey L. Levy
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 12 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Newborn Screening-Past, Present and Future)
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Abstract

Background: This study explored the views of health professionals regarding parental education and informed consent for newborn screening (NBS) following the expansion of the NBS program in Israel. Methods: 24 in-depth interviews with 22 practitioners involved in NBS in Israel, and internationally, were conducted and analyzed qualitatively. Results and discussion: 1. Program creators, who were involved in the development, design, implementation, and delivery of the expanded NBS program, were concerned about the “indifferent” attitude of parents of newborns to NBS as opposed to their high awareness and utilization of prenatal screening. 2. Program creators evaluated program success by different standards of parental education and informed consent than did practitioners, who were involved solely or mostly in the delivery of NBS results. The latter were skeptical about the possibility of obtaining informed consent and expressed diverse views about desired levels of education and consent. Eight years later, parental indifference to NBS is still a major concern for program creators, but not for practitioners. Conclusions: Program creators, due to their role and direct responsibility, assess NBS as an independent, stand-alone process about which parents should be informed and educated. Therefore, they focus on the indifference of parents to NBS as a non-optimal achievement of one programmatic aspect. Practitioners, on the other hand, perceive the medical care of the newborn holistically, focusing on the overall well-being of the baby. Therefore, they would be satisfied if the best possible medical care is provided to the newborn, by screening, confirmatory diagnosis, and follow up, even if parents are less informed about the process. View Full-Text
Keywords: education; parent; ethics; health care professionals; newborn screening education; parent; ethics; health care professionals; newborn screening
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Zuckerman, S. Indifferent or Uninformed? Reflections of Health Professionals on Parental Education and Consent for Expanded Newborn Screening in Israel, 2008–2016. Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2017, 3, 12.

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