Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2011

Capstone Advisor

Dr. Robert Roger Lebel

Honors Reader

Dr. Kari Segraves

Capstone Major


Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Sciences and Engineering

Subject Categories

Biology | Genetics | Genetics and Genomics | Other Genetics and Genomics


Perinatal genetic counseling is a health service provided to patients who carry risk factors for genetic abnormalities for their offspring. There are several non-invasive and invasive tests offered to patients in order to provide genetic information about possible disorders. The non-invasive screens calculate a percentage of risk relative to average population risk. If the non-invasive screens predict an elevated risk, a more invasive test can be offered to obtain definitive results about possible disorders in the pregnancy. The most commonly used invasive test is called amniocentesis and it carries a risk for pregnancy complications. After receiving abnormal results on the non-invasive screens, patients have the option to continue with invasive testing to obtain definitive results.

This project sought to discern factors predictive of testing choice after abnormal screen results. From 134 patient charts that fit certain criteria, several factors such as screen-calculated risk were analyzed and evaluated using a statistical analysis program.

Of the factors analyzed, a trend in the data can be seen. The higher a woman’s calculated risk of genetic abnormality in the fetus, the more likely she was to continue onto invasive testing.

This research has future implications for the field of genetic counseling. The more information there is concerning testing implications and testing choice, the better the care that health professionals will be able to provide.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.