Psychobehavioral Impact of Genetic Counseling and Breast Cancer Gene Testing in Healthy Women of African Descent
Final rept. 16 Sep 1996-15 Mar 2002
SLOAN-KETTERING INST FOR CANCER RESEARCH NEW YORK
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Three interrelated studies were conducted among urban African American women offered free genetic counseling and testing. Cross- sectional and longitudinal studies examined factors influencing interest in and readiness to undergo genetic testing, whether genetic counseling increased knowledge, and the psychosocial impact of DNA testing. 223 women signed the consent form for the study. Important observations resulting from this study that will impact on genetic counseling of women of African ancestry are 1 The limited uptake of testing in this study despite continued educational interventions, including production of a study-specific videotape, support the importance of continuing to a refine outreach and intervention efforts in order to increase awareness of BRCA counseling and testing among African American women and b demonstrate sensitivity to concerns about stigmatization and family-related guilt that were noted in the first phase of the study. 2 Ethnicity and general distress remained more highly predictive of uptake of genetic testing than did education, supporting the importance of culturally specific beliefs and attitudes. 3 Finally, the outcome of genetic testing provided to those of African ancestry qualitatively approximated those of other ethnic groups, however, the greater incidence of missense variants of unknown origin in African Americans first noted in this study constitute a special challenge in counseling.
- Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research