Background:In 2004 The Danish National Board of Health issued new guidelines on prenatal examinations. The importance of informed decision making is strongly emphasised and any acceptance of the screenings tests offered should be based on thorough and adequate information. Objective and hypothesis:To explore the influence of information in the decision-making process of prenatal screenings tests offered, the relation between information, knowledge and up-take rates and reasons for accepting or declining the screenings tests offered. Methods:The study is based on a qualitative approach using a semi-structured interview guide and includes 26 pregnant women each interviewed shortly after having received information at their general practitioner, and again after having completed prenatal screenings tests. Results:Only very few of the pregnant women in this study remember having received any information of the limitations of the screenings tests offered. The level of knowledge is found to be low among the women. Prenatal examinations are mostly accepted as a reassurance even though the pregnant women generally believe their child to be sound and healthy. Providing the women with information and offering prenatal screenings tests does not alter this or make the women feel at risk. Information provided is found to be of only minor importance in the decision-making process. Predominating is the expectance of ultrasound examinations as a positive experience that is legitimated by the health care system offering it. By prenatal examinations the pregnant women want to be giving the choice of future management should there be something wrong with their child. Conclusions:Participation in prenatal examinations is not based on a thorough knowledge of pros and contra of the screening tests offered, but accepted as a reassurance without full understanding of the consequences of participation.
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Congress of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetric and Gynecology (NFOG), 2006