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Prenatal counseling beyond the threshold of viability



It is common clinical practice to counsel parents expecting an early-moderate premature birth. The aim of the current study was to assess maternal knowledge of potential problems of prematurity after counseling.

Study design:

Prospective study of 49 participants admitted between 23 and 33 weeks gestation with threatened premature birth; a prematurity knowledge questionnaire and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered after counseling but before delivery.


Across all gestational-ages, participants were more aware of short-term problems than long-term problems. With increasing gestational age the knowledge of long-term problems decreased (P=0.01). Maternal knowledge was 82% for gestational ages where clear guidelines exist regarding goal of counseling and information that should be provided to the parents.


Most mothers of early-moderate premature infants are not aware of the potential for long-term problems. Guidelines, which outline the information that should be provided to parents, may improve maternal knowledge after counseling.

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Correspondence to M A Basir.

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Govande, V., Brasel, K., Das, U. et al. Prenatal counseling beyond the threshold of viability. J Perinatol 33, 358–362 (2013).

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  • premature infant
  • communication
  • knowledge
  • parent
  • birth
  • prenatal

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