Objective: To investigate experienced and preferred prenatal counseling among parents of extremely premature babies.
Methods: A Dutch nationwide, multicenter, cross-sectional study using an online survey. Surveys were sent to all parents of extremely premature babies born between 2010 and 2013 at 24(+0/7)-24(+)(6/7) weeks of gestation.
Results: Sixty-one out of 229 surveys were returned. A minority (14%) had no counseling conversation. Conversations were done more often by neonatologists (90%) than by obstetricians (39%) and in 37% by both these experts. Supportive material was rarely used (19%). Mortality (92%) and short-term morbidity (88%) were discussed the most, and more frequently than long-term morbidity (65%), practical items (63%) and delivery mode (52%). Most decisions on active care or palliative comfort care were perceived as decisions by doctor and parents together (61%). 80% felt they were involved in decision-making. The preferred way of involvement in decision-making varied among parents.
Conclusion: The vast majority of parents were counseled: mostly by neonatologists, and mainly about mortality and short-term morbidity. Parents wanted to be involved in the decision-making process but differed on the preferred extent of involvement.
Practice implications Understanding of shared decision-making may contribute to meet the various preferences of parents. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Prenatal counseling
- Extreme prematurity
- SHARED DECISION-MAKING
- PERIVIABLE DELIVERY
- PRETERM BIRTH