Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 269–286

“Talking About Chance”: The Presentation of Risk Information During Genetic Counseling for Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Authors

  • Nina Hallowell
    • Center for Family ResearchUniversity of Cambridge
  • Helen Statham
    • Center for Family ResearchUniversity of Cambridge
  • Frances Murton
    • Center for Family ResearchUniversity of Cambridge
  • Jo Green
    • Center for Family ResearchUniversity of Cambridge
  • Martin Richards
    • Center for Family ResearchUniversity of Cambridge
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025624221369

Cite this article as:
Hallowell, N., Statham, H., Murton, F. et al. Journal of Genetic Counseling (1997) 6: 269. doi:10.1023/A:1025624221369

Abstract

Using observations, questionnaires, and interviews, this study describes the formats used to present risk information during genetic counseling for breast and ovarian cancer. Counselees' preferences for different types of qualitative and quantitative presentation formats are also discussed. The data indicate that there is considerable variation in the presentation of risk information both within and between consultations. The counselees were positive about the way the counselors had described their risk. Seventy-three percent of the sample expressed a preference for risk to be described using quantitative formats, and there was little difference in the number who stated a preference for percentages, proportions, or population comparisons. Comparing preferred formats with those used in the consultations indicated that in over 40% of cases, risk information was not presented in the counselees' preferred quantitative format. This descriptive study raises questions about the presentation of risk information which warrant further research.

riskgenetic counselingbreast/ovarian cancer

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 1997