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Acceptability of a minimally invasive perinatal/paediatric autopsy: Healthcare professionals' views and implications for practice

Ben-Sasi, K; Chitty, LS; Franck, LS; Thayyil, S; Judge-Kronis, L; Taylor, AM; Sebire, NJ; (2013) Acceptability of a minimally invasive perinatal/paediatric autopsy: Healthcare professionals' views and implications for practice. Prenatal Diagnosis , 33 (4) pp. 307-312. 10.1002/pd.4077.

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Abstract

Background: Perinatal autopsy provides essential clinical information, including cause of death; yet, autopsy rates have steadily declined because of parental refusal. Technology now enables less invasive alternatives to traditional autopsy and may increase the acceptability of post-mortem examination. Objective: This study aimed to examine the relative acceptability among healthcare professionals of a minimally invasive autopsy (MIA; magnetic resonance imaging and laparoscopic-guided tissue sampling), compared with standard autopsy. Methods: This study was questionnaire-based survey of healthcare professionals working in clinical settings where paediatric and perinatal deaths occur. Results: Of 250 questionnaires distributed, 224 were returned (90% response rate). Autopsy was generally perceived as acceptable. Demographic factors affecting acceptability included ethnicity and religion but not professional role. MIA compared favourably with traditional autopsy, 50% of respondents reporting both equally acceptable, 40% reporting MIA more acceptable and 10% less acceptable. Healthcare professionals agreed that having a MIA option would make it easier to discuss autopsy with parents (P<0.001). Conclusion: Less invasive autopsy appears an acceptable alternative to traditional autopsy for most respondents. Healthcare professionals should be aware that ethnic and religious opinions influence their own views on autopsy decisions and should be mindful of this when discussing autopsy with parents. Further research is needed to determine parental opinions. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Type: Article
Title: Acceptability of a minimally invasive perinatal/paediatric autopsy: Healthcare professionals' views and implications for practice
DOI: 10.1002/pd.4077
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Inst for Women's Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Inst for Women's Health > Neonatology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Children's Cardiovascular Disease
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Development Bio and Cancer Prog
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1391177
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