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The University of Southampton
Clinical Ethics, Law and Society

Research project: Professional views about aCGH testing - Dormant

Currently Active: 

Array-comparative-genomic-hybridization (aCGH) is an advanced genomic test which detects sub-microscopic deletions and duplications in the genome not identified via traditional methods (karyotyping). It is commonly used in children with developmental delay/intellectual disability and/or congenital malformations.


In the prenatal setting, it allows a higher detection rate and shorter turnaround time compared to karyotyping.

However, the test can also reveal findings that are:-

  • not related to the reason for which the test was done
  • relevant only much later in life
  • uncertain

Little empirical data exists on health care professionals’ (HCPs’) views about these issues.

This study aimed to explore the views of UK healthcare professionals (HCPs) about:-

  • the type of information that should be sought and disclosed
  • timing of disclosure (i.e. during pregnancy/after birth/when the information is medically actionable)
  • and who should decide about these issues

Using Q-methodology, which combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, the views of 45 HCPs (Genetic-health-professionals, lab-scientists, fetal-medicine-experts) were explored.

The discussion around how participants have ranked statements has provided us with a valuable insight into the ethical issues that healthcare professionals think should be considered in introducing such a new test.

Dr Shiri Shkedi-Rafid was the lead researcher.

This project is now closed for recruitment


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