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Women Receiving Genetic Counseling for Breast Cancer Risk: Cancer Worry, Psychological Distress, and Risk Recall Accuracy

Description: This follows an earlier study of the same data set, which, through its findings, presented new questions that are investigated in this study. Both studies used a prospective controlled design, wherein women receiving genetic counseling for breast cancer risk were randomized into two groups. Subjects receiving an audiotaped recording of their genetic consultation (tape group) were compared to subjects who also had a genetic consultation but did not receive an audiotaped recording of it (no-tape group). Participants were drawn from attendees at the genetic clinics of two London hospitals and included 115 women with a family history of breast cancer. Cancer worry and psychological distress were assessed before genetic consultation (baseline), and at one- and six-month follow-ups by post. Objective risk was estimated by the geneticist during the consultation, and subjective risk was assessed at one month follow-up. The goals of the current study were to investigate relationships between cancer worry, psychological distress, and recall of genetic risk for breast cancer in a sample of women receiving genetic counseling for breast cancer risk, and to investigate the role sociodemographic variables on cancer worry, psychological distress, or risk recall for these women. Results for this sample of women with a family history of breast cancer found that there were consistent relationships between cancer worry, psychological distress, objective risk, and subjective risk before and after genetic consultation. This suggests that women=s psychological responses are appropriate to their level of cancer risk. There were no differences found between the tape and no-tape groups for objective or subjective risk, or for nearness of recall accuracy or degree of under-/over-estimation. Provision of an audiotaped recording of the genetic consultation did not appear to enhance recall of risk information. The role of sociodemographic variables on the psychological and risk variables assessed in this study was very ...
Date: May 1999
Creator: Wade Walsh, Margo