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Acceptability of childhood screening: a systematic narrative review

Carlton, J., Griffiths, H. J., Horwood, A. M. ORCID:, Mazzone, P. P., Walker, R. and Simonsz, H. J. (2021) Acceptability of childhood screening: a systematic narrative review. Public Health, 193. pp. 126-138. ISSN 0033-3506

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2021.02.005


Objectives A systematic narrative literature review was undertaken to assess the acceptability of childhood screening interventions to identify factors to consider when planning or modifying childhood screening programs to maximize participation and uptake.  Study design A systematic narrative literature review Methods Electronic databases were searched (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO via Ovid, CINAHL and Cochrane Library) to identify primary research studies that assessed screening acceptability.  Studies were categorized using an existing theoretical framework of acceptability consisting of seven constructs; affective attitude; burden; ethicality; intervention coherence; opportunity costs; perceived effectiveness; and selfefficacy. PROSPERO CRD42018099763. Results The search identified 4529 studies, 46 studies met the inclusion criteria.  Most studies involved neonatal screening.  Programs identified included newborn bloodspot screening (n=22), neonatal hearing screening (n=13), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (n=4), cystic fibrosis (n=3), congenital heart defects (n=2), and others (n=2).  Most studies assessed more than one construct of acceptability.  The most common constructs identified were affective attitude (how a parent feels about the program) and intervention coherence (parental understanding of the program, and/or the potential consequences of a confirmed diagnosis).  Conclusions The main acceptability component identified related to parental knowledge and understanding of the screening process, testing procedure(s), and consent.  The emotional impact of childhood screening mostly explored maternal anxiety.  Further studies are needed to examine the acceptability of childhood screening across the wider family unit.  When planning new (or refining existing) childhood screening programs it is important to assess acceptability prior to implementation. This should include assessment of important issues such as information needs, timing of information, and when and where the screening should occur.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Development
ID Code:96481
Uncontrolled Keywords:Screening Acceptability Infant Childhood

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