Pregnant Portuguese women knowledge about obstetric ultrasound

Rute Santos, Raquel Fernandes, Medical Imaging and Radiotherapy, Coimbra Health School, Polythecnic Institute of Coimbra

Obstetric ultrasound is part of the prenatal care as a diagnostic test, allowing the identification of fetal abnormalities early, through the evaluation of pre-established parameters and when performed at the recommended gestation time.

The perception and knowledge of Portuguese pregnant women on obstetric ultrasound diagnosis is something not yet studied and essential for the effectiveness of diagnosis and follow-up of pregnancy, as well as it is essential that pregnant women have an active participation in the change of the National Health Plan in Portugal, revision and extension to 2020.


To evaluate the knowledge and perception of pregnant women on diagnostic ultrasound.

Materials and methods:

The study was conducted using a questionnaire to 198 pregnant women whose pregnancy surveillance was performed in Portugal. The study was carried out from October to March 2019. Data were recorded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS), version 25.


The mean age of pregnant women was 30.6 years ± 5.0 (range, 18 to 43 years). The level of knowledge of pregnant women on diagnostic obstetrical ultrasound was 1% Insufficient, 14.6%, Adequate, and 84.3%, with a good level of knowledge. However, there are specific questions that presented a high rate of incorrect answers.

Regarding the expectations regarding obstetric ultrasound diagnosis, 61.6% of the participants considered that they should perform more ultrasounds during pregnancy, especially during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy.

79.3% of participants indicated that they would like to have more information on obstetric ultrasound available mainly through health professionals and childbirth preparation classes.


Most pregnant women demonstrate knowledge regarding the purpose of diagnostic obstetrical ultrasound but lesser knowledge of the parameters it evaluates. It is an important time for pregnant women being most interested in having more information available on obstetric ultrasound diagnosis.

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