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    The aim of the study was to investigate decision making for or against multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) and psychological outcome in women with a triplet pregnancy. We investigated medical and sociodemographic variables and characteristics of the decision process for or against MFPR in forty women with triplet pregnancies who had either undergone MFPR (MFPR-group: N = 10) or had delivered triplets (triplet-group: N = 30). Moreover, emotional experiences of the reduction procedure were assessed. Psychological outcome was measured using the Beck Depression inventory (BDI) and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). Women of the MFPR-group had a higher gestational age at delivery (p = 0.001), shorter NICU stay (p = 0.001), higher educational level (p = 0.010), more frequently utilized psychological counseling during the decision process (p = 0.016), rated their gynecologist as more helpful for the decision (p = 0.045), required more time for their decision (p = 0.016), and were more likely to be in paid employment at follow-up (p = 0.041) than women of the triplet-group. MFPR was experienced as stressful (90%) or terrifying (10%). At 3.2 (±2.2) years after delivery, the vast majority of women in both groups were free from clinically relevant depression. MFPR, though associated with emotional distress related to the procedure, results in a satisfactory psychological outcome in the majority of women. The decision for or against MFPR may be related to sociodemographic (such as educational) variables, which further supports the concept of framing in medical decision making. Having triplets most probably is associated with multiple (e.g. social or economic) consequences that may remain poorly investigated.


    Katharina Leithner, Maria Stammler-Safar, Stephanie Springer, Kathrin Kirchheiner, Eva Hilger. Three or less? Decision making for or against selective reduction and psychological outcome in forty women with a triplet pregnancy. Journal of psychosomatic obstetrics and gynaecology. 2021 Dec;42(4):286-292

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    PMID: 32312137

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