Mother: Do you know what is the Guthrie Test?

By Alessandra Bernadete Trovó de Marqui, Associate Professor of Genetic Discipline – Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro (UFTM), Uberaba, MG, Brazil

A study entitled “Knowledge of puerperal women on the Guthrie Test”, published in the Revista Paulista de Pediatria, showed superficial knowledge of the mothers about the subject. This research was conducted in the city of Uberaba, state of Minas Gerais, which is in phase IV of the Neonatal Screening Program (PNTN). By means of the Guthrie test are identified six diseases: phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, hemoglobinopathies, cystic fibrosis, congenital adrenal hyperplasia and biotinidase deficiency. In Guthrie test, some drops of blood from the heel of the newborn are collected. The ideal period for collection is between the third and the seventh day of life of the newborn. The Guthrie test is an action of preventive pediatrics and the main initiative of the Brazilian Unified Health System (UHS) in the field of genetics (LEÃO; AGUIAR, 2008). In this context, the study aimed at evaluating what mothers know about the Guthrie test, since only a correct and timely understanding make them take their children to the test collection during the appropriate period, avoiding subsequent sequelae, especially intellectual disability.

A descriptive and cross-sectional study with a quantitative approach was carried out with 75 mothers older than 18 years, with children up to 40 days of age. For the collection of data, a questionnaire was prepared by the researchers, with closed questions (some dichotomous — yes or no and others of multiple choice) applied and filled by the same person.

The study demonstrated that mother’s knowledge of the Guthrie test is superficial and may be a consequence of the fragility of health team performance. “The most relevant fact is that some mothers, after responding to the questionnaire, questioned the researcher on the subject, showing that they did not have enough knowledge of the topic, but found it extremely important,” says Professor Dra. Alessandra Trovó de Marqui, coordinator of the research.

According to Dra. Alessandra, the study deserves to be disclosed to the society, as it intended to contribute positively to the health of the newborn by means of mother’s awareness of the importance, the purpose, the diseases screened, and the time to perform the Guthrie test. “Through this research, initiatives that contribute to increasing the knowledge of mothers about the health of their child can be developed,” said the Professor. The results of the study can stimulate the design of educational materials and/or new studies that contribute to enhance the maternal knowledge of the subject. “It also enables greater dissemination of information for the implementation of public policies aimed at promoting child health,” concluded Dra. Alessandra Trovó de Marqui.


ARDUINI, G. A. O., et al. Conhecimento das puérperas sobre o teste do pezinho. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2017 [viewed 27 June 2017]. DOI: 10.1590/1984-0462/;2017;35;2;00010. Available from:

LEAO, L. L. and AGUIAR, M. J. B. Triagem neonatal: o que os pediatras deveriam saber. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2008, vol. 84, no. 4, supl. pp. S80-S90 [viewed 27 June 2017]. DOI: 10.1590/S0021-75572008000500012. Available from:

External link

Revista Paulista de Pediatria – RPP: <>


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

MARQUI, A. B. T. Mother: Do you know what is the Guthrie Test? [online]. SciELO in Perspective | Press Releases, 2017 [viewed ]. Available from:


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