How Do They Know

99 (48.5%) of respondents replied that they had first heard about this test before pregnancy. A high proportion of women reported that someone had spoken to them (80.7%) and that they had received written information (76.8%) about this screening test. As can be seen from table 6, it was from a variety of formal and informal sources that the respondents had first heard about the test and received written information. They had also spoken to a variety of health professionals, family and friends to gain further information (table 7), and indicated that they would use a variety of sources to gain further information (table 8). Health professionals were more important actual and potential sources of information for these women than family, friends and media, and it is interesting to note that by far the most important source of information is the midwife. This appears to be understood by health professionals themselves: Sadler (1997) found that the community midwives were regarded by the majority of health professionals being primarily responsible for counselling antenatal patients about serum screening for Down's syndrome, whilst obstetricians were the group least regarded as primarily responsible.

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