Professional opinion on oral cleft during pregnancy: a comparison between Israel and the Netherlands

Wies Maarse*, Chantal W. B. Boonacker, Oren Lapid, Henriette F. N. Swanenburg de Veye, Zeev Weiner, Moshe Kon, Johannes J. M. van Delden, Aebele B. Mink van der Molen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to assess the opinion of obstetric care providers who perform prenatal ultrasounds to screen for anomalies and who advise women about their options, including termination of pregnancy, when an oral cleft is detected. We compared providers' opinions about pregnancy termination for isolated oral cleft in the Netherlands, where the number of terminations is low, and in Israel, where the number is high.

MethodsOnline questionnaires were used. The questions assessed the providers' views regarding the estimated burden of treatment, the functioning ability, and the level of happiness of children with an oral cleft and their parents. Additionally, we assessed providers' opinions on pregnancy termination for isolated oral cleft.

ResultsIn the Netherlands, more professionals considered oral cleft a disability (rate differences 17.8%, 95% confidence interval: 0.5-33.1%) than in Israel. In the Netherlands, 10.6% of respondents (compared with 11.1% in Israel) thought that an isolated cleft was a reason for terminations of pregnancy (TOP) (rate differences 0.6%, 95% confidence interval: -12% to 10.9%).

ConclusionsPrenatal care providers in the Netherlands and Israel do not differ in their opinions about the severity of oral cleft and the acceptability of TOP for an isolated oral cleft. This study shows that prenatal care providers' attitudes do therefore not explain the dramatic difference between these countries in the number of TOP for isolated oral cleft. (c) 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-548
Number of pages5
JournalPrenatal Diagnosis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


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