Difficulties in psychological adjustment to a new neonatal screening programme.


Previous studies have shown the impact of psychological stress in neonatal screening where the test result turns out to be false-positive. The families in these studies received standardized medical and psychological support in connection with the clinical examination of their newborns. It was thus of interest to study the effect of making the same neonatal screening procedures--i.e., for congenital hypothyroidism--a part of the routine. Eleven families, who had been routinely examined at one of the five pediatric clinics in Stockholm were investigated. In the present study the same method as in previous studies was used, but the interviews were done 1-4 years after the screening. The psychological experiences of the parents were assessed with the aid of hypothetical models based on psychoanalytical theory. Only two families had a satisfactory outcome and nine families had experienced the clinical procedures as chaotic. The mother-child relationship and the child's development were clinically evaluated. In six families the relationship was affected but only one child appeared to be disturbed. In conclusion, the development of routines for screening newborns is very important and the psychological needs of parents must be considered, even when the test result is false positive.

Cite this paper

@article{Fyr1988DifficultiesIP, title={Difficulties in psychological adjustment to a new neonatal screening programme.}, author={K Fyr{\"{o} and G{\"{o}ran Bodeg{\aa}rd}, journal={Acta paediatrica Scandinavica}, year={1988}, volume={77 2}, pages={226-31} }