Predictive genetic testing for hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer: uptake and long-term satisfaction

Int J Cancer. 2000 Jan 20;89(1):44-50.


The aim of this prospective study was to assess the uptake of predictive genetic testing for hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and its associations with sociodemographic and other factors, and long-term satisfaction with taking the test. The test was offered to all high-risk members (n = 446) of 36 Finnish HNPCC families in which the mutation was known. The procedure comprised an educational counselling session, a period for reflection, and a test disclosure session. Data were collected by questionnaires sent before the educational counselling and 1 month and 1 year after the test disclosure. Of those eligible, 85% (n = 381) completed the first questionnaire study. Non-participation was more common among men living alone who had not participated in the clinical cancer surveillance programme. Of the 347 subjects who attended counselling, 334 (75% of all subjects) were actually tested. After logistic-regression analysis, the only significant factor predicting test acceptance proved to be employment status: those employed were more likely than others to accept the test (odds ratio = 2.25; 95% confidence intervals, 1.09 to 4.6 1). At follow-up, over 90% of the subjects were fully satisfied with the decision to take the test. In conclusion, acceptance of the test was considerably higher than in previously reported studies. We attribute this to our careful face-to-face individualized counselling, our health care system, and to attitudes of the Finnish population, which are generally favourable towards health care and disease prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / prevention & control
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Genetic Testing* / psychology
  • Genetic Testing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors