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Implementing a rapid fetal exome sequencing service: What do parents and health professionals think?

Mellis, Rhiannon; Tapon, Dagmar; Shannon, Nora; Dempsey, Esther; Pandya, Pranav; Chitty, Lyn S; Hill, Melissa; (2022) Implementing a rapid fetal exome sequencing service: What do parents and health professionals think? Prenatal Diagnosis 10.1002/pd.6140. (In press).

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Prenatal exome sequencing (pES) for the diagnosis of fetal abnormalities is being introduced more widely in clinical practice. Here we explore parents' and professionals' views and experiences of pES, to identify perceived benefits, concerns, and support needs. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 parents and 20 health professionals (fetal medicine and clinical genetics) with experience of rapid pES prior to implementation in the English National Health Service. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. RESULTS: Parents and professionals were largely positive about pES, emphasising clinical and psychosocial benefits of a timely, definitive diagnosis in pregnancy. Concerns included parental anxiety related to the timing of pES results or uncertain findings, a need for guidelines for case selection and reporting, and ensuring sufficient capacity for counselling, phenotyping and variant interpretation. Professionals were concerned non-genetics professionals may not be equipped to counsel parents on the complexities of pES. CONCLUSION: These findings highlight important issues for clinical implementation of pES. Expert counselling is required to enable parents to make informed decisions during a stressful time. To achieve this, professionals need further education and training, and fetal medicine and genetics services must work closely together to ensure parental understanding and appropriate support.

Type: Article
Title: Implementing a rapid fetal exome sequencing service: What do parents and health professionals think?
Location: England
DOI: 10.1002/pd.6140
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/pd.6140
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Genetics and Genomic Medicine Dept
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10146702
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