Views of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) among Psychiatrists and Neurologists

Abbate, Kristopher J.; Klitzman, Robert L.; Chung, Wendy K.; Ottman, Ruth; Leu, Cheng Shiun; Appelbaum, Paul S.

Objective—As prenatal genetic testing (GT) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) use increase, providers in many specialties may play roles in patient discussions and referrals. Hence, we examined key aspects of neurologists’ and psychiatrists’ views and approaches.

Study Design—We surveyed attitudes and practices among 163 neurologists and 372 psychiatrists.

Results—24.9% of neurologists and 31.9% of psychiatrists had discussed prenatal GT with patients, but 95.3% didn’t feel comfortable discussing PGD; only 2.9% discussed it; and only 1.8% had patients ask about PGD. Most would refer for PGD for Huntington’s disease (HD) and Tay-Sachs, fewer for Cystic Fibrosis (CF), and fewer still for autism, Alzheimer’s (AD), or gender selection for family balancing; in each of these cases, psychiatrists > neurologists. Providers who’d refer for PGD for HD, CF, or gender selection differed from others in proportions of patients with insurance, were more likely to have undergone a GT themselves, and be concerned about discrimination.

Conclusions—These data, the first to examine how neurologists and psychiatrists view PGD, suggest they don’t feel comfortable discussing PGD, but have strong views about its use. Potential PGD use is associated with concerns about discrimination, and less experience with GT. These data highlight needs for enhancing education about these technologies among various providers.


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Journal of Reproductive Medicine

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July 13, 2020