The Motivation of Prenatal Ultrasound Among Women in Mashhad

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Ultrasound examination performs in a variety of aspects in the prenatal period whether with a medical indication or not. For example after clinical complications with valid reasons or the condition that they concern about fetal development due to adverse outcomes might occur without clear risk factors (1) or obstetricians prescribe ultrasound in order to checkup like fetal weight estimation for predicting anomalies (2). The interesting point which is blind to pregnant women is specialists employ ultrasound examination in each trimester for different goals and choose many kinds of scanning for their cases too (2). In fact the most of the ultrasound viewing is not necessary such as watching the baby, gender determination that comes from many reasons like obsession with fetus development, positive impact on the attitude of pregnant women and unconsciousness women (3).

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Some studies have reported that many women requested for ultrasound examination for particular reasons and specialist prescription that was influenced by sociodemographic, obstetric and attitudinal factors (3). Nevertheless, other studies have proved that non-medical reasons such as reassurance of normal fetal development, gender determination and watch the baby on screen cause majority of viewing ultrasound examinations (4). However, the methodological error is one of the limitations of previous studies (5). Moreover, one study did not assess the women’s knowledge of scanning and possible health risks from prenatal ultrasound examination did not consider in statistical assessment, although they mentioned in the focus group (3). And the most significant issue is this kind of study has not been conducted in Iran, due to some unique characteristics in every society such as special culture, attitude and religion. Thus it can affect the ministry of health determinations and rules (4).

This study aimed to investigate pregnant motivation of women and preference for the prenatal ultrasound by assessing their relative tendency to different reasons for viewing a prenatal ultrasound and exploring background factors that might affect preferences.

Methods and materials

Study setting

We conducted a cross-sectional study in Mashhad during spring 2013, also the sample size was calculated 360 based on the Enakpene’s study (6). Stratified non-random sampling method According to the number of admissions to delivery was used to gather data in 6 hospitals. Women who aged 15-37 years old and had delivered recently or were expecting delivery were included and those who did not desire to participate in the study or declined to continue were excluded.

Questionnaire study

Questionnaires were filled out by cooperation of participants and doctors as interviewer.

The questionnaire contained 3 parts, as follows demographic information, midwifery history and some information about prenatal ultrasound in last pregnancies such as the occurrence of ultrasound examination and type of ultrasound scanning.


The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Mashhad University of Medical science, also all participants gave written consent. Furthermore, the patient’s privacy and confidentiality of collected data were considered.

Data analysis

Data management and analysis were performed using SPSS 16.0 (2010). The data were normalized using the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, also ANOVA and T tests or nonparametric tests were used to analyze relations between variants. Statistical significance was considered P<0.05.

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