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Original article
Newborn biliary atresia screening with the stool colour card: a questionnaire survey of parents
  1. Morgane Borgeat1,
  2. Simona Korff1,
  3. Barbara E Wildhaber2
  1. 1 Department of Pediatrics, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  2. 2 Division of Paediatric Surgery, University Center of Paediatric Surgery of Western Switzerland, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Barbara E Wildhaber; barbara.wildhaber{at}


Purpose Biliary atresia can easily be screened using a stool colour card (SCC) and has shown to significantly reduce time to diagnosis, improving children’s outcome. Despite the general approval of the clinical usefulness of the SCC, physicians remain reluctant: it might unnecessarily worry parents. This study aimed to analyse the parental reaction to this screening method and if it evokes parental stress.

Methods A semistructured questionnaire was sent to parents with one or more healthy child to inquire about reactions on receipt and use of the SCC.

Results 109/256 questionnaires were returned and evaluated (43%). 107/107 parents considered the SCC as helpful, a simple screening method and easy to use (100%). 26/43 were reassured when receiving the SCC (60%), 2 were worried (5%) and 9 had no particular feelings (21%). In 41/49, emotions experienced during its use were positive or neutral (84%), and 3 were worried (6%). In 41/50, the discussion with the paediatrician about stool colour-linked pathologies was neutral (82%), and 9 felt uneasy (18%).

Conclusion A vast majority of parents appreciate the SCC. It creates uneasiness in a minority of parents. Our results are encouraging and argue in favour of implementing the regular distribution of the SCC in antenatal, postnatal and newborn infant clinics.

  • screening
  • general paediatrics
  • hepatology
  • neonatology

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors MB: concept/design, data collection and analysis/interpretation, drafting article. SK: data interpretation, critical revision of article. BEW: concept/design, data analysis/interpretation, critical revision of article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the local Ethics Committee (CER 07-245).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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