Non‐invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) has been available in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) for approximately four years. It is likely to be introduced into the publicly funded prenatal screening service.
To explore obstetrician use and views of NIPT, with consideration to its implementation into screening services for Down syndrome and other conditions.
An anonymous online survey combining Likert scales and free text was designed to assess current practice, knowledge, ethical considerations, counselling and views toward public funding of NIPT. The survey was distributed through the New Zealand members of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (n = 418) and responses collected over a two‐month period in 2016.
There were 134/418 (32.1%) respondents. Current knowledge influenced decisions to offer NIPT (70.3%, 85/121). Confidence in offering NIPT was: ‘not at all’ (0.8%, 1/128); ‘a little’ (7.03%, 9/128), ‘somewhat’ (16.4%, 21/128), ‘quite’ (40.6%, 52/128) and ‘very’ (35.2%, 45/128). A total of 83.5% (101/121) stated NIPT should be publicly funded and NIPT capability developed within NZ (89.1%, 106/119). More information and support on the provision of NIPT was called for.
There was strong support for public funding of NIPT, and for NIPT capability to be developed in NZ. The call for more training, education and support needs to be actioned in order to facilitate the introduction of NIPT into screening services.