Factors influencing medical prognostication of high-risk pregnancies

Research team

Amaryllis Ferrand, MD (Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit, Université de Montréal); Antoine Payot, MD, PhD (Université de Montréal); Eric Racine, PhD (Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit, Université de Montréal, McGill University); Jelena Poleksic, MSc (Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit)

Funding

Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQ-S)

Some pregnancies are complicated by findings of congenital malformations in the fetus or a risk of premature delivery. Parents living these unfortunate situations must sometimes take difficult decisions, such as continuing the pregnancy or not, or deciding what level of care should their newborn child should receive. Parents are supported in those decisions by physicians such as obstetricians and neonatologists that counsel them by sharing their predictions regarding the survival chances of their child-to-be-born, disability and future quality of life.

These future predictions, called prognoses, can be very different from one physician to another, and even sometimes erroneous. These discrepancies can be explained by the presence of multiple factors influencing the prognostic. These factors can be associated with patient’s characteristics (for example ethnic background, age), the physician’s values (for example personal beliefs, psychological state) or the context (for example the timing of the meeting, the number of people present at the meeting). It is important to understand what the influence of these factors on the physician’s prognosis is, since this prognosis may impact parents’ irreversible decisions regarding their child-to-be-born. This project aims to study the psychological and environmental factors influencing prognosis in obstetricians and neonatologists meeting with families in antenatal consultations.

 

Publications

Ferrand, A., Gorgos, A., Ali, N., & Payot, A. (2018). Resilience Rather than Medical Factors: How Parents Predict Quality of Life of Their Sick Newborn. J Pediatr. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.05.025

Ferrand, A., Gorgos, A., Ali, N., & Payot, A. (2018). Resilience Rather than Medical Factors: How Parents Predict Quality of Life of Their Sick Newborn. J Pediatr. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.05.025

Racine, E., Bell, E., Farlow, B., Miller, S., Payot, A., Rasmussen, L. A., Shevell, M. I., Thomson, D., & Wintermark, P. (2017). The ‘ouR‐HOPE’ approach for ethics and communication about neonatal neurological injury. Development Medicine & Child Neurology, 59(2), 125-135.

Rasmussen, L. A., Bell, E., & Racine, E. (2016). A qualitative study of physician perspectives on prognostication in neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Journal of Child Neurology, 31(11), 1312-1319.

Bell, E., Rasmussen, L. A., Mazer, B., Shevell, M., Miller, S. P., Synnes, A., Yager, J. Y., Majnemer, A., Muhajarine, N., Chouinard, I., & Racine, E. (2014). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and prognostication in neonatal hypoxic‐ischemic injury: A vignette‐based study of Canadian specialty physicians. Journal of Child Neurology, 30(2), 174–81.

Racine, E., Dion, M-J., Wijman, C. A. C., Illes, J., & Lansberg, M. (2009). Profiles of neurological outcome prediction among intensivists. Neurocritical Care, 11(3), 345-352.

Racine, E., & Shevell, M. (2009). Ethics in neonatal neurology; “When is enough, enough?” Pediatric Neurology, 40(3), 147-155.