Cancer worries, risk perceptions and associations with interest in DNA testing and clinic satisfaction in a familial colorectal cancer clinic

Clin Genet. 2000 Dec;58(6):460-8. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-0004.2000.580606.x.


Multi-disciplinary familial cancer clinics are becoming an integral part of cancer services. It is, therefore, important to assess how attendance at these clinics impacts on cancer-related concerns, risk perceptions and behavioural intentions, and how the clinic services are being received by those using them. This study has assessed a familial colorectal cancer clinic with respect to cancer-related worries and risk perceptions and their impact on interest in DNA testing and overall satisfaction with the clinic. Pre- and post-clinic questionnaires were completed by 127 patients and relatives attending the clinic. After attending the clinic, the proportion of people 'very' or 'extremely' worried about developing bowel cancer reduced from 49 (pre-clinic) to 34% (p = 0.002). Worry about bowel cancer was positively associated with younger age, higher education level and higher perceived risk of developing cancer. A reduction in level of risk perception correlated with a lower likelihood of feeling 'very worried' about developing bowel cancer. Of those intending to go ahead with DNA testing, 58% were 'very worried' about bowel cancer compared with 15% of those not intending to proceed with testing, suggesting that worry was a motivation for interest in DNA testing. One-third of participants indicated another session of genetic counselling would be helpful. Within this group, a higher proportion was very worried about bowel cancer (43%) than for those who did not want another session (17%). Attendance at this familial colorectal cancer clinic alleviated worry for many individuals, partly due to improved information about risk of colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Anxiety*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / psychology*
  • DNA
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organizational Case Studies


  • DNA