Austria: Psychosocial outcomes and counselee satisfaction following genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Austria: Psychosocial outcomes and counselee satisfaction following genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer



abstract
Psychosocial outcomes and counselee satisfaction following genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer: A patient-reported outcome study


OBJECTIVE:

We investigated the psychosocial consequences of genetic counseling and testing (GCT) for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) at follow-up in a "real-life" sample of counselees at an Austrian tertiary care center.

METHODS:

The study cohort included counselees who had undergone genetic counseling for HBOC and completed a follow-up self-report questionnaire battery on psychosocial outcomes (quality of life, psychological distress, satisfaction with counseling and decisions). For comparison of distress, we recruited a reference sample of breast cancer survivors (BCS; n=665) who had not requested GCT in the same setting.

RESULTS:

Overall, counselees did not exhibit increased levels of anxiety and depression when compared to BCS. No specific follow-up deleterious psychosocial consequences were detected among the former group. Of the 137 counselees, 22.6% and 9.8% experienced clinically relevant levels of anxiety and depression, respectively, at an average follow-up time of 1.8years. However, both anxiety and depression significantly decreased with time and were alike between counselees with and without cancer diagnosis. Follow-up cancer worry seems to be significantly higher among counselees who had not undergone genetic testing or were undecided about it than among counselees who had been tested.

CONCLUSION:

Our results strongly support GCT as part of routine care for patients with HBOC. The risk factors of increased distress in specific subgroups of counselees, such as recent cancer diagnosis or uncertainty about testing, warrant further exploration and specific attention in clinical routines. Particularly, the psychological needs of undecided counselees warrant ongoing attention and potential follow-ups.

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