Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 133–140

Facilitating Family Communication About Predictive Genetic Testing: Probands’ Perceptions

  • Clara L. Gaff
  • Veronica Collins
  • Tiffany Symes
  • Jane Halliday
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10897-005-0412-3

Cite this article as:
Gaff, C.L., Collins, V., Symes, T. et al. J Genet Counsel (2005) 14: 133. doi:10.1007/s10897-005-0412-3

Abstract

The responsibility of informing relatives that predictive genetic testing is available often falls to the proband. Support is required during this process, however the perceived utility of genetic counseling and other strategies to facilitate communication have not been explored. We investigated the experiences of 12 individuals with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) in a semistructured telephone interview. Respondents informed their immediate family about the availability of genetic testing, however many more-distant relatives were not directly informed. Respondents were mostly satisfied with the way they told family members about testing and had mixed views about the usefulness of genetic counseling. Gender differences were observed, with most men expressing a need for guidance or support in communicating to relatives. Letters and booklets were thought to enhance the quality of information but the provision of further aids is unlikely to increase the number of relatives made aware of predictive testing by the proband.

Key words

family communication HNPCC genetic counseling inherited cancer genetic testing 

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clara L. Gaff
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Veronica Collins
    • 2
  • Tiffany Symes
    • 2
  • Jane Halliday
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Genetic Health Services VictoriaMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Public Health Genetics UnitMurdoch Childrens Research InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Familial Cancer CentreThe Royal Melbourne HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Department of PaediatricsThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.Institute of Medical GeneticsCardiff UniversityHeath ParkUnited Kingdom

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