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    Genetic counseling services have only recently been introduced in most Arab countries, and their utilization is increasing. Prenatal genetic counseling is essential, particularly in the Arab context, which is characterized by high rates of consanguinity. Nevertheless, little is known about the decisions faced by parents and the factors underlying the complex decision making that must occur when accessing these services in Arab countries. Herein, we performed a narrative review to discuss the reported experiences of parents accessing genetic counseling in the prenatal setting in the 22 Arab countries. We also highlight the different types of decisions encountered and the factors influencing them. We report that: (i) utilization of genetic counseling services varies across different Arab countries; (ii) many factors affect decision making and service utilization, especially religion; and (iii) parents are faced with an array of decisions in the prenatal setting, partly driven by increased utilization of prenatal diagnosis and preimplantation genetic testing in some countries. Our work is the first to highlight the different factors and decisions influencing genetic counseling in Arab countries. Understanding these factors is essential for improving genetic counseling services in the region and helping counselors facilitate informed decision making.

    Citation

    Shaza D Malik, Mashael Al-Shafai, Atiyeh M Abdallah. The Special Features of Prenatal and Preimplantation Genetic Counseling in Arab Countries. Genes. 2022 Jan 18;13(2)

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    PMID: 35205212

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