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1.  How Can Psychological Science Inform Research About Genetic Counseling for Clinical Genomic Sequencing? 
Journal of genetic counseling  2014;24(2):193-204.
Next generation genomic sequencing technologies (including whole genome or whole exome sequencing) are being increasingly applied to clinical care. Yet, the breadth and complexity of sequencing information raise questions about how best to communicate and return sequencing information to patients and families in ways that facilitate comprehension and optimal health decisions. Obtaining answers to such questions will require multidisciplinary research. In this paper, we focus on how psychological science research can address questions related to clinical genomic sequencing by explaining emotional, cognitive, and behavioral processes in response to different types of genomic sequencing information (e.g., diagnostic results and incidental findings). We highlight examples of psychological science that can be applied to genetic counseling research to inform the following questions: (1) What factors influence patients' and providers' informational needs for developing an accurate understanding of what genomic sequencing results do and do not mean?; (2) How and by whom should genomic sequencing results be communicated to patients and their family members?; and (3) How do patients and their families respond to uncertainties related to genomic information?
doi:10.1007/s10897-014-9804-6
PMCID: PMC4777349  PMID: 25488723
Communication; Genome sequencing; Patient understanding; Psychological; Psychosocial
2.  Differences Between African American and White Research Volunteers in Their Attitudes, Beliefs and Knowledge Regarding Genetic Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease 
Journal of genetic counseling  2011;20(6):650-659.
Genetic susceptibility testing for common diseases is expanding, but little is known about race group differences in test perceptions. The purpose of this study was to examine differences between African Americans and Whites in knowledge, attitudes, and motivations regarding genetic susceptibility testing for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Before enrolling in an AD genetic testing research trial, 313 first-degree relatives of AD patients (20% African American; 71% female; mean age = 58 years) were surveyed regarding: (1) knowledge about genetics and AD risk; (2) concerns about developing AD; and (3) reasons for seeking testing. In comparison to Whites, African Americans were less knowledgeable about genetics and AD risk (p<.01) and less concerned about developing AD (p<.05), with lower levels of perceived disease risk (p=.04). The results suggest that African Americans and Whites differ notably in their knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes regarding genetic testing for AD. Additional research with more representative samples is needed to better understand these differences.
doi:10.1007/s10897-011-9377-6
PMCID: PMC3223287  PMID: 21656311
Genetic testing; African Americans; Alzheimer’s disease; APOE; Risk assessment; Susceptibility testing; Health beliefs; Health literacy; Health disparities
3.  Perceptions of Familial Risk in those Seeking a Genetic Risk Assessment for Alzheimer’s Disease 
Journal of genetic counseling  2008;18(2):130-136.
Perceived risk is a complex concept that influences the genetic counseling process and can affect client coping and behavior. Although the association between family history and risk perception is well recognized in the literature, no studies have explored this relationship specifically in those seeking genetic susceptibility testing for a common chronic condition. REVEAL is a randomized trial assessing the impact of APOE disclosure and genetic risk assessment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Using baseline REVEAL data, we hypothesized that there would be a significant association between the degree of AD family history and risk perception of AD, and that this relationship would be stronger in those who believed that genetics is a very important AD risk factor. In our sample of 293 participants, we found that a higher self-perceived risk of AD was associated with strength of family history of AD (p<0.001), belief in genetics as an important AD risk factor (p<0.001), being female (p<0.001) and being Caucasian (p=0.02). These results are the first to demonstrate the association between family history and risk perception in persons volunteering for genetic susceptibility testing for a common complex disease.
doi:10.1007/s10897-008-9194-8
PMCID: PMC2919070  PMID: 18949541
Risk perception; Alzheimer’s disease; APOE; Genetic susceptibility testing; Risk assessment

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