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A prospective study of the impact of genetic susceptibility testing for BRCA1/2 or HNPCC on family relationships

A prospective study of the impact of genetic susceptibility testing for BRCA1/2 or HNPCC on... This study assessed the impact of genetic testing for cancer susceptibility on family relationships and determinants of adverse consequences for family relationships. Applicants for genetic testing of a known familial pathogenic mutation in BRCA1/2 or a HNPCC related gene (N=271) rated the prevalence and nature of changes in family relationships, familial difficulties and conflicts due to genetic testing 6 months after receiving the test result. The level of family functioning, differentiation from parents, support and familial communication style regarding hereditary cancer were assessed before receiving the test result. Genetic testing affected some family relationships in a positive way (37%), i.e. by feeling closer, improved communication and support, more appreciation of the relative and relief of negative test result. A minority reported unwanted changes in relationships (19%), problematic situations (13%) or conflicts (4%). Adverse effects comprised feelings of guilt towards children and carrier siblings, imposed secrecy and communication problems. Predictors of adverse consequences on family relationships were reluctance to communicate about hereditary cancer with relatives and disengaged‐rigid or enmeshed‐chaotic family functioning. Open communication between relatives should be stimulated because a lack of open communication may be an important determinant of familial adverse effects. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psycho-Oncology Wiley

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References (36)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Subscription Services
ISSN
1057-9249
eISSN
1099-1611
DOI
10.1002/pon.1062
pmid
16909428
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study assessed the impact of genetic testing for cancer susceptibility on family relationships and determinants of adverse consequences for family relationships. Applicants for genetic testing of a known familial pathogenic mutation in BRCA1/2 or a HNPCC related gene (N=271) rated the prevalence and nature of changes in family relationships, familial difficulties and conflicts due to genetic testing 6 months after receiving the test result. The level of family functioning, differentiation from parents, support and familial communication style regarding hereditary cancer were assessed before receiving the test result. Genetic testing affected some family relationships in a positive way (37%), i.e. by feeling closer, improved communication and support, more appreciation of the relative and relief of negative test result. A minority reported unwanted changes in relationships (19%), problematic situations (13%) or conflicts (4%). Adverse effects comprised feelings of guilt towards children and carrier siblings, imposed secrecy and communication problems. Predictors of adverse consequences on family relationships were reluctance to communicate about hereditary cancer with relatives and disengaged‐rigid or enmeshed‐chaotic family functioning. Open communication between relatives should be stimulated because a lack of open communication may be an important determinant of familial adverse effects. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal

Psycho-OncologyWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2007

Keywords: ; ; ; ;

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