Autism Spectrum Disorders: Prenatal Genetic Testing and Abortion Decision-Making among Taiwanese Mothers of Affected Children
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With the rapid growing rate of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), prenatal genetic testing (PGT) has been offered to detect various genomic disorders, including ASD, in Taiwan. However, disparities exist in this area, as there is limited research on factors associated with PGT utilization and relevant decision-making that may guide the regulations and ethical guidelines for culturally appropriate PGT services in Taiwan. This study proposed a comprehensively integrated theoretical framework for examining the intention to undergo PGT to detect ASD susceptibility genes and subsequent abortion decision-making among Taiwanese mothers of children affected by ASD. Survey data from 333 mothers of children with ASD in 236 elementary schools with special education services in Taiwan were collected and analyzed using structural equation modeling. Approximately two-thirds of the participants (66.6%) would undergo PGT to detect ASD susceptibility genes; more than half (53.1%) would terminate the hypothetically ASD-affected pregnancy. Abortion intention was associated with age, religion, attitudes toward PGT for detecting ASD susceptibility genes, and willingness to undergo such PGT. This study explores the potential impacts of PGT on Taiwanese society, and the findings are applicable to countries heavily influenced by Chinese culture, areas with Asian immigrants, and Western countries with such PGT services and/or research available.
author list (cited authors)
Chen, W., Zhao, S., Huang, T., Kwok, O., & Chen, L.
complete list of authors
Chen, Wei-Ju||Zhao, Shixi||Huang, Tse-Yang||Kwok, Oi-Man||Chen, Lei-Shih