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Pauline McGrath

Year of Award: 2013 Award State: Queensland Health And Medicine > General
Social Welfare > General
To review the delivery of counselling support for women undergoing new prenatal technology - UK, USA, Hong Kong
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Recent advances in molecular genetics have seen significant changes to prenatal screening and diagnosis. These advances are so significant they are rapidly being adopted into clinical practice. These technologies will become the main-stay in clinical care for pregnant women. To date, little attention has been paid to the issues of pre and post-test counselling that are often much more complex than those they are replacing.

There is an urgent need to improve our understanding of the clinical impact of these technologies on both clinical practice and the women who choose to engage with them. There is a need to develop guidelines for clinicians and genetic counsellors working in this area and to develop training resources for health professional and for patients.

The facilities I visited were chosen because they are the leaders in providing the science behind the testing and counselling to support decision-making. This allowed me to see firsthand and understand more fully the experience women have whilst accessing these technologies. I have been able to make connections in these laboratories, become more aware of the financial parameters for testing and improve our ability to meet Australians patient’s needs when they choose this form of testing.

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