Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 323–335

Family Communication Following BRCA1/2 Genetic Testing: A Close Look at the Process

  • Darquise Lafrenière
  • Karine Bouchard
  • Béatrice Godard
  • Jacques Simard
  • Michel Dorval
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10897-012-9559-x

Cite this article as:
Lafrenière, D., Bouchard, K., Godard, B. et al. J Genet Counsel (2013) 22: 323. doi:10.1007/s10897-012-9559-x

Abstract

This study examines the process of communicating BRCA1/2 genetic test results to family members, and the factors influencing disclosure. Twenty-nine semi-structured telephone interviews with BRCA1/2 tested individuals, 4 to 9 years post-notification, were conducted. Our results suggest that individual, familial, relational and socio-medical factors influence the decision to disclose/not disclose genetic test results to family members. These factors are at play in all three communication phases: the Decision-making phase, in which the individual ponders various factors before deciding to disclose test results to family members; the Disclosure phase, in which communication per se takes place; and the Reaction phase, which shapes the participant’s subsequent disclosure/non-disclosure decisions. We propose a guiding framework to assist in identifying and evaluating significant factors that might shape the course and outcome of the transmission of genetic information to family members.

Keywords

GenesBRCA1BRCA2CommunicationFamilyGenetic predisposition to diseasePsychosocial factors

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darquise Lafrenière
    • 1
  • Karine Bouchard
    • 2
    • 3
  • Béatrice Godard
    • 1
  • Jacques Simard
    • 4
    • 5
  • Michel Dorval
    • 6
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Programmes de bioéthique/Département de médecine sociale et préventive, Faculté de médecineUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Unité de recherche en santé des populations, Centre de recherche du CHU de QuébecHôpital du Saint-SacrementQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Centre des maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia, CHU de QuébecHôpital du Saint-SacrementQuébecCanada
  4. 4.Département de médecine moléculaire, Faculté de médecineUniversité LavalQuébecCanada
  5. 5.Laboratoire de génomique des cancers, Centre de recherche du CHU de QuébecCHULQuébecCanada
  6. 6.Faculté de pharmacieUniversité LavalQuébecCanada