Breast Cancer Risk Perceptions among Relatives of Women with Uninformative Negative BRCA1/2 Test Results: The Moderating Effect of the Amount of Shared Information.
ABSTRACT: The most common result of BRCA1/2 mutation testing when performed in a family without a previously identified mutation is an uninformative negative test result. Women in these families may have an increased risk for breast cancer because of mutations in non-BRCA breast cancer predisposition genes, including moderate- or low-risk genes, or shared environmental factors. Genetic counselors often encourage counselees to share information with family members, however it is unclear how much information counselees share and the impact that shared information may have on accuracy of risk perception in family members. We evaluated 85 sisters and daughters of women who received uninformative negative BRCA1/2 results. We measured accuracy of risk perception using a latent variable model where accuracy was represented as the correlation between perceived risk (indicators = verbal and quantitative measures) and calculated risk (indicators = Claus and BRCAPRO). Participants who reported more information was shared with them by their sister or mother about her genetic counseling session had greater accuracy of risk perception (0.707, p?=?0.000) than those who reported little information was shared (0.326, p?=?0.003). However, counselees shared very little information; nearly 20 % of family members reported their sister or mother shared nothing with them about her genetic counseling. Family members were generally not aware of the existence of a genetic counseling summary letter. Our findings underscore the need for effective strategies that facilitate counselees to share information about their genetic counseling sessions. Such communication may help their relatives better understand their cancer risks and enhance risk appropriate cancer prevention.
Project description:We studied counselees' expressed understanding of the risk estimate and surveillance recommendation in the final consultation for breast cancer genetic counseling in relation with their risk perception, worry and cancer surveillance adherence 1 year post-counseling. Consecutive counselees were included from 2008 to 2010. Counselees with an indication for diagnostic DNA-testing for themselves or a breast cancer affected relative were requested to complete online questionnaires before and after counseling and one year after counseling (N = 152-124). Self-reported surveillance was compared to surveillance recommendations. Consultations were videotaped. Counselees' reactions to the risks and recommendations were coded. Statements about the risk perception and surveillance intentions of breast cancer unaffected counselees were transcribed. Associations with outcomes were explored. Almost all breast cancer unaffected counselees (>90 %) reacted to their risk estimate with an utterance indicating understanding and this reaction was not significantly associated with their post-visit risk perception alignment. Over one-third (38.6 %) overestimated their risk post-counseling. Few counselees (5.8 %) expressed surveillance intentions. One year after counseling, about three-quarters (74.0 %) of the breast cancer unaffected counselees had adhered to the surveillance recommendation. Almost one-quarter (23.3 %) had performed more mammograms/MRI scans than recommended, which was associated with prior mammography uptake (n = 47; X (2) = 5.2; p = .02). Counselees' post-counseling overestimation of their risk, high levels of worry and high surveillance uptake were not reflected in their reactions to the counselor's information during the final visit.
Project description:Counselees from different countries may differ in demographic and medical characteristics and this could affect their pre-counselling cognitions and psychosocial variables. Research outcomes may therefore not be easily transferable between countries. To examine this, a cross-national comparison of UK (West Midlands: WM) and Dutch (Middle Netherlands: MN) counselees in breast cancer genetic counselling was conducted. Two hundred thirty-eight WM and 156 MN proband counselees were compared on demographics, breast cancer history and referral pathways. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to check whether national differences in knowledge of breast cancer and heredity, risk perception, worry and information needs persisted when corrected for the background characteristics. About half of the Dutch compared to 8% of UK counselees were affected by breast cancer. More UK than Dutch counselees were at high risk from hereditary breast cancer. UK counselees had higher risk perceptions and more knowledge about breast cancer prevalence, but these differences lost significance when corrected for counselees' risk levels and other background characteristics. Counselees from the UK might report higher levels of worry than Dutch counselees and this could not be explained by their background characteristics. Comparisons of findings between the UK and the Netherlands show that the UK seems to have a higher percentage of high-risk referrals and these counselees seem to have higher risk perceptions. Irrespective of their actual risk level, UK counselees might be more worried. Comparing findings between the different countries raises questions about how transferable research findings are from one culture to another.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Decision-making concerning predictive genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes is inherently complex. This study aims to investigate what kind of complexities adults undergoing genetic counseling in Switzerland experience, how they deal with them, and what heuristics they use during the decision-making process.<h4>Methods</h4>Semi-structured qualitative interviews with eighteen Swiss adults seeking genetic counseling for hereditary cancer syndrome genetic testing and two counseling physicians were conducted and analyzed using a grounded theory approach.<h4>Results</h4>Counselees stated that once they were aware of their eligibility for genetic testing they perceived an inevitable necessity to make a decision in a context of uncertainties. Some counselees perceived this decision as simple, others as very complex. High emotional involvement increased perceived complexity. We observed six heuristics that counselees used to facilitate their decision: Anticipating the test result; Focusing on consequences; Dealing with information; Interpreting disease risk; Using external guidance; and (Re-)Considering the general uncertainty of life.<h4>Limitations</h4>Our findings are limited to the context of predictive genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes. This qualitative study does not allow extrapolation of the relative frequency of which heuristics occur.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The use of heuristics is an inherent part of decision-making, particularly in the complex context of genetic testing for inherited cancer predisposition. However, some heuristics increase the risk of misinterpretation or exaggerated external influences. This may negatively impact informed decision-making. Thus, this study illustrates the importance of genetic counselors and medical professionals being aware of these heuristics and the individual manner in which they might be applied in the context of genetic testing decision-making. Findings may offer practical support to achieve this, as they inductively focus on the counselees' perspective.
Project description:Participation rates in cancer genetic counseling differ among populations, as patients with a lower educational background and migrant patients seem to have poorer access to it. We conducted a study to determine the present-day educational level and migrant status of counselees referred to cancer genetic counseling. We assessed personal characteristics and demographics of 731 newly referred counselees. Descriptive statistics were used to describe these characteristics. The results show that about 40% of the counselees had a high educational level and 89% were Dutch natives. Compared to the Dutch population, we found a significant difference in educational level (p = < 0.01) and migrant status (p = < 0.001). This suggests disparities in cancer genetic counseling and as a result of that, suboptimal care for vulnerable groups. Limited health literacy is likely to pose a particular challenge to cancer genetic counseling for counselees with a lower education or a migrant background. Our study points to considerable scope for improvement in referring vulnerable groups of patients for cancer genetic counseling.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Arab population in Israel is a minority ethnic group with its own distinct cultural subgroups. Minority populations are known to underutilize genetic tests and counseling services, thereby undermining the effectiveness of these services among such populations. However, the general and culture-specific reasons for this underutilization are not well defined. Moreover, Arab populations and their key cultural-religious subsets (Muslims, Christians, and Druze) do not reside exclusively in Israel, but are rather found as a minority group in many European and North American countries. Therefore, focusing on the Arab population in Israel allows for the examination of attitudes regarding genetic testing and counseling among this globally important ethnic minority population. METHODS:We used a qualitative research method, employing individual interviews with 18 women of childbearing age from three religious subgroups (i.e., Druze, Muslim, and Christian) who reside in the Acre district, along with focus group discussions with healthcare providers (HCPs; 9 nurses and 7 genetic counselors) working in the same geographical district. RESULTS:A general lack of knowledge regarding the goals and practice of genetic counseling resulting in negative preconceptions of genetic testing was identified amongst all counselees. Counselors' objective of respecting patient autonomy in decision-making, together with counselees' misunderstanding of genetic risk data, caused uncertainty, frustration, and distrust. In addition, certain interesting variations were found between the different religious subgroups regarding their attitudes to genetic counseling. CONCLUSIONS:The study highlights the miscommunications between HCPs, particularly counselors from the majority ethno-cultural group, and counselees from a minority ethno-cultural group. The need for nuanced understanding of the complex perspectives of minority ethno-cultural groups is also emphasized. Such an understanding may enhance the effectiveness of genetic testing and counseling among the Arab minority group while also genuinely empowering the personal autonomy of counselees from this minority group in Israel and other countries.
Project description:The German Consortium for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (GC-HBOC) aims for nationwide access to professional, individualized yet structured care for families at high risk. The identification of such families remains key for optimal care. Our study evaluates counselees' characteristics, referral practices, expectations and motivations in respect to their first genetic consultation. The impact of the Angelina Jolie Effect (AJE) was prospectively assessed.All counselees could participate through a questionnaire. Groups were built in respect to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (FT) and before/after AJE.The 917 (88.5%) counselees (FT: 8.2%) were on average female (97.3%), with a mean age of 44.6, had children (71.9%), higher education (88%), personal (46.4%) or at least one first-degree relative (74.6%) with BC/OC or known BRCA1/2 mutation (11.8%), were in a relationship (76.1%), and living in a village (40.7%). The AJE is associated with significantly fewer cancelations (p = 0.005), more attendance among men (4.2% vs. 0.8%, p = 0.002), and people with familial BRCA1/2 (14.8% vs. 7.5%, p = 0.003). The majority seek information regarding their cancer risk (83%) or relatives' risk (74.8%), HBOC (69.1%), and surveillance programs for themselves (66.6%) or relatives (60.6%).Enhanced media awareness of genetic cancer motivates patients, including other patient groups. A higher number of participants, including more men, are attending GC due to the AJE. In terms of the rising complexity of genetic testing, the analysis of patients' expectations and initiators for GC suggests that there is an urgent need to develop to participate motivation analysis. The factors revealed as impediments to accessing GC-HBOC guide recommendations to optimize access to genetic counseling. Medical educational programs for primary gynecologists and families at risk might be options to reach more participants.
Project description:Genomic applications raise multiple challenges including the optimization of genomic counseling (GC) services as part of the results delivery process. More information on patients' motivations, preferences, and informational needs are essential to guide the development of new, more efficient practice delivery models that capitalize on the existing strengths of a limited genetic counseling workforce. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with a subset of counselees from the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative following online receipt of multiple personalized genomic test reports. Participants previously had either in-person GC (chronic disease cohort, n = 20; mean age 60 years) or telephone GC (community cohort, n = 31; mean age 46.8 years). Transcripts were analyzed using a Grounded Theory framework. Major themes that emerged from the interviews include 1) primary reasons for seeking GC were to clarify results, put results into perspective relative to other health-related concerns, and to receive personalized recommendations; 2) there is need for a more participant driven approach in terms of mode of GC communication (in-person, phone, video), and refining the counseling agenda pre-session; and 3) there was strong interest in the option of follow up GC. By clarifying counselees' expectations, views and desired outcomes, we have uncovered a need for a more participant-driven GC model when potentially actionable genomic results are received online.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Understanding multiple components of risk perceptions is important because perceived risk predicts engagement in prevention behaviors.<h4>Purpose</h4>To examine how multiple components of risk perceptions (perceived magnitude of and worry about risk, prioritization of the management of one's risk) changed following genetic counseling with or without test reporting, and to examine which of these components prospectively predicted improvements in sun-protection behavior 1 year later.<h4>Methods</h4>A prospective, nonrandomized study design was used. Participants were 114 unaffected members of melanoma-prone families who (i) underwent genetic testing for a CDKN2A/p16 mutation (n = 69) or (ii) were at comparably elevated risk based on family history and underwent genetic counseling but not testing (no-test controls, n = 45). Participants reported risk perception components and sun-protection behavior at baseline, immediately following counseling, and 1 month and 1 year after counseling.<h4>Results</h4>Factor analysis indicated three risk components. Carriers reported increased perceived magnitude and priority of risk, but not cancer worry. No-test controls showed no changes in any risk perception. Among noncarriers, priority of risk remained high at all assessments, whereas magnitude of risk and cancer worry decreased. Of the three risk components, greater priority of risk uniquely predicted improved self-reported sun protection 1 year post-counseling.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Priority of risk (i) seems to be a component of risk perceptions distinguishable from magnitude of risk and cancer worry, (ii) may be an important predictor of daily prevention behavior, and (iii) remained elevated 1 year following genetic counseling only for participants who received a positive melanoma genetic test result.
Project description:With advances in breast cancer (BC) gene panel testing, risk counseling has become increasingly complex, potentially leading to unmet psychosocial needs. We assessed psychosocial needs and correlates in women initiating testing for high genetic BC risk in clinics in France and Germany, and compared these results with data from a literature review. Among the 442 counselees consecutively approached, 212 (83%) in France and 180 (97%) in Germany, mostly BC patients (81% and 92%, respectively), returned the 'Psychosocial Assessment in Hereditary Cancer' questionnaire. Based on the Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm (BOADICEA) BC risk estimation model, the mean BC lifetime risk estimates were 19% and 18% in France and Germany, respectively. In both countries, the most prevalent needs clustered around the "living with cancer" and "children-related issues" domains. In multivariate analyses, a higher number of psychosocial needs were significantly associated with younger age (b = -0.05), higher anxiety (b = 0.78), and having children (b = 1.51), but not with country, educational level, marital status, depression, or loss of a family member due to hereditary cancer. These results are in line with the literature review data. However, this review identified only seven studies that quantitatively addressed psychosocial needs in the BC genetic counseling setting. Current data lack understandings of how cancer risk counseling affects psychosocial needs, and improves patient-centered care in that setting.