Communication about carrier testing within hemophilia A families
Sorenson, J. R., Jennings-Grant, T., & Newman, J. (2003). Communication about carrier testing within hemophilia A families. American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part C-Seminars in Medical Genetics, 119C(1), 3-10.
Genetic diseases are family diseases. Although there is considerable research on how individuals decide to have genetic testing and their individual reactions to testing, there is limited research on the familial context of genetic testing. In the present study, we focus on three aspects of the family context of genetic testing for hemophilia A carrier status among women at risk to be carriers. We look at the extent to which there was discussion of carrier testing for hemophilia before we offered DNA-based carrier testing to these at-risk women; with which family members these tested women communicated the results of their carrier testing; and concerns these women had about communicating their carrier test results with relatives, including their children. Data suggest that members of families with hemophilia discussed carrier testing prior to study participation, that the communication of testing information within families was selective, not universal, largely following gender lines for this X-linked disorder, and that there was limited concern about communicating carrier status information to children and other relatives. These data reinforce observations that families are social systems, and within these systems information is selectively communicated. A more complete understanding of how families communicate genetic test information will enable providers to develop more effective means of assisting individuals in handling the familial communication aspects of genetic testing. (C) 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc