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עמוד בית
Tue, 16.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume

Journal 9, September 2004
pages: 535-539

Screening Tests in Prenatal Care: A National Study in Israel

    Summary

    Background: Prenatal care in Israel is established as a universal service, but the degree of compliance with care recommendations may vary with the healthcare provider or the characteristics of the population.

    Objectives: To study referral to and compliance with the performance of ultrasound, alpha-fetoprotein and amniocentesis and the factors associated with them in a national sample. 

    Methods: The sampling frame consisted of women who gave birth during March 2000. The sample included 1,100 Israeli Jewish and Arab women who resided in localities with over 50,000 and 20,000 inhabitants respectively. They were interviewed by phone 3 months after delivery. 

    Results: In both population groups 30% reported having seven or more ultrasounds during pregnancy. The performance of fetal body scans was relatively low. Factors associated with non-performance among Jewish women were: lower education, religiousness, and attending Mother and Child Health services as compared to all other services. Seventy-seven percent of Jewish women and 84% of Arab women reported that they had been referred for alpha-protein tests. For women aged 35 and over, 55% of Jewish women were referred and 63% complied, whereas 39% of Arab women were referred but none complied.

    Conclusions: Ultrasound is almost universally performed among Jewish and Arab women; however fetal body scans, alpha-fetoprotein and amniocentesis (for women over the age of 35) are not. The reasons for the lower coverage may be due to under-referral and/or lack of compliance of the women, perhaps due to sociocultural barriers. In both population groups considerable out-of-pocket money is paid for the tests.

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