Genetic counseling does not fulfill the counselees' need for certainty in hereditary breast/ovarian cancer families: an explorative assessment

Joel Vos*, Fred H. Menko, Jan C. Oosterwijk, Christi J. van Asperen, Anne M. Stiggelbout, Aad Tibben

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Many cancer-patients undergo DNA testing in the BRCA1/2 genes to receive information about the likelihood that cancer is heritable. Previous nonsystematic studies suggested that DNA testing often does not fulfill the counselees' needs for certainty. We explored the balance between the counselees' need for certainty and perceived certainty (NfC-PC, i.e., level of fulfillment of NfC) regarding the specific domains of DNA test result, heredity and cancer. We also examined relationships of NfC-PC with coping styles and distress. Method Before disclosure of BRCA1/2 test results for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (T1), questionnaires were filled in by 467 cancer-patients. Another questionnaire (T2) was filled in after disclosure of pathogenic mutation results (n=30), uninformative results (n=202) or unclassified-variants (n=16). Results Before and after DNA test result disclosure, overall 5894% of all counselees experienced unfulfilled NfC regarding the DNA test result, heredity and cancer. Compared with T1, the communication of pathogenic mutations (T2) caused more fulfillment of the NfC about the DNA test result, but less about cancer and heredity (pPC). Compared with T1, uninformative results (T2) caused more fulfillments of all needs than before disclosure (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1176
Number of pages10
JournalPsycho-oncology
Volume22
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May-2013

Keywords

  • oncology
  • psychology
  • genetic counseling
  • perception
  • impact
  • coping
  • uncertainty
  • PERCEIVED PERSONAL CONTROL
  • BRCA1/2 TEST RESULT
  • BREAST-CANCER
  • RISK PERCEPTION
  • OVARIAN-CANCER
  • UNCERTAINTY
  • WOMEN
  • IMPACT
  • SUSCEPTIBILITY
  • COMMUNICATION

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