Maternal Anxiety Associated with Newborn Genetic Screening for Type 1 Diabetes

Suzanne Bennett Johnson, Amy E. Baughcum, Stacy K. Carmichael, Jin-Xiong She, Desmond A. Schatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - To describe maternal anxiety associated with newborn genetic screening for type 1 diabetes during the first year after risk notification. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Mothers of at-risk infants (n = 435), identified through newborn genetic screening as part of the Prospective Assessment of Newborn for Diabetes Autoimmunity (PANDA) study, were administered a short form of the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) during telephone interviews ∼3. 5 weeks, 4 months, and 1 year after risk notification. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine predictors of maternal anxiety at each interview as well as changes in anxiety over time. RESULTS - For the total sample, initial state STAI scores were not elevated and declined further over time. However, Hispanic mothers, those with low levels of education, those who overestimated the child's risk for diabetes, and mothers of infants in the highest risk group exhibited significantly elevated initial state STAI scores. At 4 months, higher state STAI scores were associated with higher initial state STAI scores, single parent status, having an infant with a first-degree relative with diabetes, and overestimation of the child's actual risk. Initial and 4-month STAI scores remained predictive of STAI scores at 1 year. In addition, single mothers and mothers of female children reported higher STAI state scores 1 year after risk notification. CONCLUSIONS - For most mothers, newborn genetic screening to identify infants at increased risk for type 1 diabetes is not associated with significantly elevated maternal anxiety; anxiety further dissipates over time. However, anxiety levels vary considerably as a function of maternal ethnic status, education, marital status, maternal estimation of infant risk, and sex of the child and may be significantly elevated in some women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-397
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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