Maternal Attitudes and Knowledge about Newborn Screening and Dried Blood Spot Retention

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 2:45 PM

Barbara A. True, MN, CNS, RNC-OB, C-EFM
Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Texas Health Resources, Arlington, TX
Patricia Newcomb, RN, CPNP, PhD
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, Texas Health Resources, Fort Worth, TX
Judith Walsh, RN, PhD
Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Resources, Plano, TX
Maynard Campbell Dyson, MD, MA
Institutional Review Board, Cook Children's Healthcare System, Fort Worth, TX
Suzanne W. Lockwood, RN, PhD
Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX
Holly Roberts, RN, BSN, RNC-LRN
Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Hospital, Texas Health Resources, Dallas, TX
Becky A. Douglas, MS, RNC-MNN, WHNP-BC
Texas Health Prebyterian Dallas Hospital, Texas Health Resources, Dallas, TX

Learning Objective 1: Identify ethical issues that are relevant to the use of stored newborn bloodspots in research.

Learning Objective 2: Identify mothers of newborns who are less likely to have positive attitudes towards the state retention of newborn dried blood spot cards.

Background. Prior to a 2009 lawsuit ending in destruction of over 5 million bloodspots, Texas maintained the largest repository of newborn dried blood spots (DBS) in the nation. DBS repositories are important resources for researchers, but poor informing procedures may invalidate permission for tissue donation resulting in further litigation. The purpose of this study was to describe knowledge and attitudes of mothers of newborns regarding state retention of DBS for research use.

Design. This study was a cross-sectional survey administered to 548 mothers of newborns in post-partum units in five North Texas hospitals using the Maternal Attitudes and Knowledge about Newborn Screening Survey, developed by the investigators. Summary statistics were provided each site and surveys were combined for final data analysis. Multiple regression analysis was used to quantify associations between responses and demographic variables.

Results. Overall, knowledge about details of DBS retention was inadequate. The most frequent source of information about NBS was the post-partum nurse. Mothers tended to believe that using newborn bloodspots for research was a good thing, but Medicaid recipients and minorities were more reluctant than others to share dried bloodspots for research.

Clinical Implications. Mothers are not fully informed about the use of infant bloodspots for research. Further research to develop educational interventions that are sensitive to the concerns of parents about DBS storage and that can be implemented antenatally are needed. Furthermore, information from this study will inform policy makers regarding implications of procedures used by state blood spot repositories to obtain permission for donations.