Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 684–691

Genetic Counseling as a Tool for Type 2 Diabetes Prevention: A Genetic Counseling Framework for Common Polygenetic Disorders

Authors

    • Department of PediatricsMassachusetts General Hospital
  • Kelsey E. O’Brien
    • Division of General MedicineMassachusetts General Hospital
  • Linda M. Delahanty
    • Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes CenterMassachusetts General Hospital
    • Harvard Medical School
  • James B. Meigs
    • Division of General MedicineMassachusetts General Hospital
    • Harvard Medical School
  • Jose C. Florez
    • Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes CenterMassachusetts General Hospital
    • Center for Human Genetic ResearchMassachusetts General Hospital
    • Harvard Medical School
  • Elyse R. Park
    • Mongan Institute for Health PolicyMassachusetts General Hospital
    • Harvard Medical School
  • Barbara R. Pober
    • Department of PediatricsMassachusetts General Hospital
    • Harvard Medical School
  • Richard W. Grant
    • Division of ResearchKaiser Permanente Northern California
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10897-012-9486-x

Cite this article as:
Waxler, J.L., O’Brien, K.E., Delahanty, L.M. et al. J Genet Counsel (2012) 21: 684. doi:10.1007/s10897-012-9486-x

Abstract

Advances in genetic epidemiology have increased understanding of common, polygenic preventable diseases such as type 2 diabetes. As genetic risk testing based on this knowledge moves into clinical practice, we propose that genetic counselors will need to expand their roles and adapt traditional counseling techniques for this new patient set. In this paper, we present a genetic counseling intervention developed for a clinical trial [Genetic Counseling/Lifestyle Change for Diabetes Prevention, ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01034319] designed to motivate behavioral changes for diabetes prevention. Seventy-two phenotypically high-risk participants received counseling that included their diabetes genetic risk score, general education about diabetes risk factors, and encouragement to participate in a diabetes prevention program. Using two validated genetic counseling scales, participants reported favorable perceived control and satisfaction with the counseling session. Our intervention represents one model for applying traditional genetic counseling principles to risk testing for polygenetic, preventable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.

Keywords

Genetic counselingType 2 diabetesPolygenic risk counselingDiabetes prevention

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2012