Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 709–719 | Cite as

From Observation to Intervention: Development of a Psychoeducational Intervention to Increase Uptake of BRCA Genetic Counseling Among High-Risk Breast Cancer Survivors

  • Susan T. Vadaparampil
  • Teri L. Malo
  • Kelli M. Nam
  • Alison Nelson
  • Cara Z. de la Cruz
  • Gwendolyn P. Quinn


We describe the development of a psychoeducational intervention (PEI) to increase uptake of genetic counseling targeted to high-risk breast cancer survivors. Based on previous research, scientific literature, and a review of cancer education websites, we identified potential PEI content. We then assessed the initial acceptability and preference of two booklets of identical content but different layouts, by presenting the booklets to individuals with a personal or family history of breast cancer (n = 57). The preferred booklet was evaluated by two focus groups of ten breast cancer patients who had not attended genetic counseling. The booklet was refined based on participants’ feedback at each stage. Focus group participants generally found the booklet visually appealing, informative, and helpful, but some thought that it was too long. Final changes were made based on learner verification principles of attraction, comprehension, cultural acceptability, and persuasion. This project produced an interventional tool to present key constructs that may facilitate decision making about risk-appropriate genetic counseling uptake among high-risk breast cancer survivors. The process described for creating, testing, and adapting materials from a patient perspective can be used for developing other PEIs. This newly developed, unique PEI can be used in many clinical settings.


Breast cancer Genetic counseling Educational intervention Survivors 



This research was conducted with funding from the American Cancer Society [MRSG CPPB-111062], the Miles for Moffitt Foundation, and the National Human Genome Research Institute [R21 HG006415-01]. The sponsors had no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; nor in the decision to submit the paper for publication. The work contained within this publication was supported in part by the Survey Methods Core at Moffitt Cancer Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan T. Vadaparampil
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Teri L. Malo
    • 1
  • Kelli M. Nam
    • 1
  • Alison Nelson
    • 1
  • Cara Z. de la Cruz
    • 4
  • Gwendolyn P. Quinn
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Health Outcomes and Behavior ProgramMoffitt Cancer CenterTampaUSA
  2. 2.Center for Infection Research in CancerMoffitt Cancer CenterTampaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Oncologic Sciences, College of MedicineUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public HealthUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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