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Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 279–297 | Cite as

Cancer Risk Assessment and Genetic Counseling in an Academic Medical Center: Consultands' Satisfaction, Knowledge, and Behavior in the First Year

  • Mona Penles Stadler
  • John J. Mulvihill
Article

Abstract

In 1995, we formally established a multifaceted cancer genetics program of clinical services, research, and education at a general academic medical center. In the first year, 58 families, mostly physician referred, received cancer risk assessment and genetic counseling for a family and/or medical history of cancer. The primary reasons for seeking consultation were to determine their risk or their offspring's risk for developing certain cancers and to inquire about the availability of DNA testing for predisposition to breast, ovarian, or colon cancers. To assess the level of satisfaction with program services, 51 consultands (22% with a personal history of cancer) were interviewed independently by telephone 3–12 months after the session. One goal of the survey was to improve program service. Ninety percent of respondents reported that the consultation was worth their time and money. Forty-two percent stated that their anxiety related to their cancer risk had decreased following counseling and 56% indicated no change. Recall of exact numerical risk was poor and one-third could not remember hearing any risk estimate. More respondents would recommend the service to friends (90%) than to family members (75%). Overall, the service was positively received by the majority of patients.

genetic counseling hereditary cancer attitudes 

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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mona Penles Stadler
    • 1
    • 2
  • John J. Mulvihill
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh
  2. 2.Cancer Genetics Program, Magee-Womens Hospital and theUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburgh

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