Prenatal testing: a longitudinal study - the PeTALS project

Project Details

Prenatal testing is a routine part of pregnancy. In the event that a fetal abnormality such as Down syndrome is diagnosed, women are generally offered information and support so they can decide whether to continue with the pregnancy. Little is known about how women in Australia experience this process. This ARC-funded study aims to investigate women’s needs at this time and identify the support currently available. Data collection includes in-depth interviews and measures of anxiety, depression and relationship bonds at six weeks, six to nine months and two years post diagnosis. Initial results found many women reported their partners were often quite unsupported. Partners have now been included in the study. Recruitment and data analysis is ongoing and the study findings will be used to develop a robust counselling intervention that can provide appropriate support for all couples who receive a prenatal diagnosis.


  • Australian Research Council (ARC)
  • National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Research Group

Genetics Education and Health Research

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health, Infectious Diseases and Immunity

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


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