Vigilance in the Decision-Making Process Regarding Termination of Pregnancy Following Prenatal Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease-Application of the ‘Conflict Decision-Making Model’

. 2022 Jul 26;19(15):9137.

doi: 10.3390/ijerph19159137.


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Yulia Gendler et al.

Int J Environ Res Public Health.



The decision-making process regarding termination of pregnancy following prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease is a stressful experience for future parents. Janis and Mann’s conflict decision-making model describes seven ideal stages that comprise vigilant information-gathering as an expression of the qualitative decision-making process. In our study, we attempted to determine whether parents who face the decision regarding termination of pregnancy undertake a qualitative decision-making process. Data were collected over 2-year period using structural questionnaires. The sample consisted of two hundred forty participants; sixty-nine (28.75%) declared that their decision was to terminate the pregnancy. A significant difference in the quality of the decision-making score was noted between parents who decided to continue with the pregnancy vs. parents who opted for termination (mean score of 10.15 (5.6) vs. 18.51 (3.9), respectively, p < 0.001). Sixty-two (90%) participants within the termination of pregnancy group went through all seven stages of vigilant decision-making process and utilized additional sources for information and consultation. Parents who decided to continue with the pregnancy made swift decisions, often without considering the negative and positive outcomes; this decision-making pattern is considered non-vigilant and ineffective. Identification of future parents at risk of going through an ineffective decision-making process may help health professionals to determine the best way to provide them with information and support.


conflict decision-making model; congenital heart disease; decision-making process; termination of pregnancy; vigilance.

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