Home Family Practice Distress Over False-Positive Cystic Fibrosis Screen Not Lasting

Distress Over False-Positive Cystic Fibrosis Screen Not Lasting

Despite immediate distress reported by mothers, psychosocial distress not detected in newborns

MONDAY, Aug. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Mothers of infants with false-positive (FP) newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) results for cystic fibrosis (CF) report immediate distress, although these concerns are not reflected in psychosocial response measures, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in Pediatrics.

Robin Z. Hayeems, Ph.D., from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, and colleagues used a mixed-methods cohort design to obtain prospective self-report data from mothers of infants with FP CF NBS results two to three months after confirmatory testing and from a sample of mothers of screen negative infants. Experience and psychosocial response were assessed in questionnaires completed by 134 mothers of FP infants and 411 controls; 54 mothers of FP infants were interviewed.

The researchers found that psychosocial distress was not detected in newborns or one year later based on selected psychosocial response measures (P > 0.05). During notification of the positive results, and in the follow-up testing period, mothers recalled distress related to fear of chronic illness; however, they valued the screening system of care for alleviating concerns.

“Although immediate distress was reported among mothers of FP infants, selected psychometric tools did not detect these concerns,” the authors write. “The screening system reflected herein may be a model for NBS programs working to minimize FP-related psychosocial harm.”

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