Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: in Africa, genetic diseases and congenital anomalies remain a significant source of morbidity and mortality. Existing data suggests a gap in the use of prenatal tests among pregnant women to better inform decision making. We examined relationships of socio-demographic factors with willingness to terminate affected pregnancies, and the use of, knowledge of, and attitudes towards prenatal screening/diagnostic tests. METHODS: this was a cross-sectional descriptive study of pregnant women who attended antenatal clinics at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (N = 422) selected by convenience sampling. Responses were obtained with assisted self-administered structured questionnaires. RESULTS: mean ± S.D. age of the respondents was 32.5 ± 5.3 years. The majority of the participants (92.2%) had at least a secondary education. Ultrasound scans in the second trimester were the most frequently used test (39.1%). Only 77 (18.2%) of the respondents indicated willingness to terminate affected pregnancies. The majority of the respondents had fair knowledge and good attitude scores. Knowledge and attitude scores were significantly correlated (r = 0.25, p < 0.001). Compared to married women, being single was associated with a 2.62-point lower knowledge score (95% CI: -4.63, -0.62, p = 0.01). Compared to women who responded "no" when asked if they were willing to terminate an affected pregnancy, women who responded "maybe" had a 0.81-point lower attitude score (95% CI: -1.45, -0.17, p = 0.01). CONCLUSION: our results suggest important socio-demographic differences in women´s knowledge/ behaviours towards prenatal diagnostic tests. Further research is needed to explore these relationships and broader pregnancy-related ethical beliefs among pregnant women in Lagos.

Original publication




Journal article


Pan Afr Med J

Publication Date





Prenatal diagnosis, congenital anomalies, genetic diseases, pregnant women, termination of pregnancy, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Cross-Sectional Studies, Decision Making, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Hospitals, University, Humans, Middle Aged, Nigeria, Pregnancy, Prenatal Care, Prenatal Diagnosis, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult