Psychosocial and clinical factors associated with family communication of cancer genetic test results among women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age
Genetic test results have medical implications beyond the patient that extend to biological family members. We examined psychosocial and clinical factors associated with communication of genetic test results within families. Women (N = 1080) diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 or younger completed an online survey; 920 women that reported prior cancer genetic testing were included in analysis. We examined the proportion of immediate family members to whom they communicated genetic test results, and built multivariable regression models to examine clinical and psychosocial variables associated with the proportion score. Participants were most likely to communicate test results to their mother (83 %) and least likely to their son (45 %). Participants who carried a BRCA mutation (OR = 1.34; 95 % CI = 1.06, 1.70), had higher interest in genomic information (OR = 1.55; 95 % CI = 1.26, 1.91) and lower genetic worry (OR = 0.91; 95 % CI = 0.86, 0.96) communicated genetic test results to a greater proportion of their immediate family members. Participants with a BRCA1/2 mutation shared their genetic test results with more male family members (OR = 1.72; 95 % CI = 1.02, 2.89). Our findings suggest that patients with high worry about genetic risks, low interest in genomic information, or receive a negative genetic test result will likely need additional support to encourage family communication.
Elrick, A., Ashida, S., Ivanovich, J., Lyons, S., Biesecker, B. B., Goodman, M. S., & Kaphingst, K. A. (2017). Psychosocial and clinical factors associated with family communication of cancer genetic test results among women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 26(1), 173-181. DOI: 10.1007/s10897-016-9995-0