OBJECTIVE: This study investigated appraisals, including motivation, and coping preferences for undergoing Apolipoprotein E (APOE) susceptibility testing for Alzheimer disease (AD).
METHODS: Participants were 60 adult children of individuals affected with AD enrolled in a trial investigating use and impact of APOE susceptibility testing. An exploratory qualitative study was undertaken in which participants were interviewed about their testing experience.
RESULTS: Most participants viewed genetic testing as providing valuable information that could help direct future health care decisions and meet their emotional concerns about living at increased risk. Participants related their motivation for genetic testing to their worries about developing AD, preference to seek information about health threats, and need to feel in control of their health.
CONCLUSION: Even without prevention or treatment options, genetic testing may be a useful coping strategy for some at-risk individuals.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Once testing becomes clinically available, practitioners need to address the value and limitations of testing as well as appraisals and efforts to cope.