Petals: a Longitudinal Study Exploring Women’s Experiences Following a Prenatal Diagnosis of Foetal Abnormality

Dr Melody Menezes1, Professor Sylvia Metcalfe2, Dr Jan Hodgson2, Professor Jane Fisher3, A/Prof Kerry Petersen4, A/Prof Jane Halliday2

1Monash Ultrasound for Women, Richmond; 5Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Parkville; 3Jean Hailes Clinical Research Unit, Monash University, Clayton; 4School of Law, La Trobe University, Melbourne

Advances in genetic testing and prenatal screening has greatly improved our ability to detect foetal abnormalities during pregnancy. In Australia, approximately 4% of babies are born with a foetal abnormality and many of these were diagnosed during pregnancy. The diagnosis of a foetal abnormality during pregnancy can be understandably very distressing for parents.

Our research consistently strives to improve the supportive care of pregnant women, particularly when there has been the diagnosis of a fetal abnormality. Our multidisciplinary team will use a collaborative approach to understand how pregnant women are best cared for following the diagnosis of a foetal abnormality, and to develop appropriate evidence-based models of supportive care. This study will be the first in Australia to investigate women’s experiences of a prenatal diagnosis of foetal abnormality and will specifically examine the short and longer term psychosocial impacts on women, as well as identify the social and professional supports utilised and needed by women.

This project will provide much-needed information in this under-researched field, and will facilitate better social and clinical care of women diagnosed with a foetal abnormality during pregnancy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.