OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to understand parental decisions, perspectives, values, and beliefs on next generation sequencing in the newborn period (NGS-NBS) to inform the development of a decision aid to support parental decision making in the North Carolina Newborn Exome Sequencing for Universal Screening study.
METHODS: We conducted dyadic interviews with 66 current or expectant parents (33 couples) to understand overall decisions about NGS-NBS and reasons for and against learning NGS-NBS results differing by age of onset and medical actionability. Audio recordings were transcribed, coded, and analyzed using qualitative framework analyses.
RESULTS: Favorable views of NGS-NBS included benefits of early intervention, preparedness, child autonomy, and altruism. Unfavorable views were the potential negative effects from early intervention, psychosocial harm, and religious beliefs. Parents universally reported quality of life as important.
CONCLUSION: Interviews elucidated what is important in deciding to have NGS-NBS. Understanding parental perspectives, values, and beliefs and integrating evidence-based findings into a parent-centric decision aid provides value and support in making decisions related to NGS-NBS, where there is no clear course of action.