A qualitative study exploring the attitudes toward prenatal genetic testing for autism spectrum disorders among parents of affected children in Taiwan

Shixi Zhao, Chen Hui Wang, Tse Yang Huang, Yann Jang Chen, Ching Hua Hsiao, Chie Chien Tseng, Lei Xu, Lei Shih Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Prenatal genetic testing (PGT) for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) raises more complex ethical, legal, and social implications in Taiwan than in Western countries due to policy-related, practical, cultural, and familial reasons. This first qualitative study examines attitudes towards PGT for ASD among Taiwanese parents of children with ASD – an elevated risk group for having another affected child, and one that is mostly likely to be impacted by PGT for ASD. Methods: We conducted in-depth, face-to-face, individual, semi-structured interviews with 39 parents of children with ASD from various ASD organizations in Taiwan. Results: Most parents favored PGT for ASD mainly for terminating the affected pregnancy and receiving early intervention and treatment. Less than one-third of participants was against PGT for ASD due to perceived no value for this testing, contradiction with religion and/or personal beliefs, doubt of the test's accuracy, or concerns about the negative consequences of the testing. Conclusion: The majority of Taiwanese parents of children with ASD in this study supported PGT for ASD. Guidelines and regulations should be developed to regulate the provision and quality of this testing. Genetic counseling should also be recommended to parents of children with ASD in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume48
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Autism
  • Parents
  • Prenatal genetic testing
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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