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