test. Each woman was also asked to give 'true or false' answers to some simple statements testing 'knowledge' about the screening test for Down's syndrome, and these provide interesting comparisons of test-takers and non test-takers. Quite a high proportion of both groups confused this screening test on blood samples with amniocentesis, and this clearly has implications for the granting of informed consent for this procedure. Such confusion was significantly (chi-sq (1) = 4.3, p<.05) more likely in those who stated they had not and would not undertake screening for Down's syndrome. It is evident that this must include some, at least, of the 69.4% who felt that they had received enough information about the test. One can only speculate as to whether this confusion had a causal role in the rejection of the test (due to the risk involved in amniocentesis being attributed to the blood test), or whether this inaccuracy of response and rejection of the test both reflect an attitude in the expectant mother that information on whether the baby has Down's syndrome before the birth is irrelevant and unwelcome. However, Green et al. (1993) found that the majority of women do want to know if there is something wrong with their baby.

Table 7. Who women talked to to gain information

Who talked to respondent



Community midwife

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