Predictive genetic testing: high risk expectations in the face of low risk information

J Behav Med. 2002 Feb;25(1):33-50. doi: 10.1023/a:1013537701374.


The aims of this cross-sectional, questionnaire study were (1) to estimate the proportion of those receiving negative ("low risk") results following predictive genetic testing who expect to undergo clinically unnecessary future screening and (2) to examine the factors associated with this expectation. Of 127 adults receiving negative results following predictive genetic testing for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), 54 people (42%) were expected to attend for future bowel screening. The main predictor was doubt about the accuracy of genetic test results. Expecting to attend was also associated univariately with perceiving the chance of developing FAP as higher, being more worried about this, perceiving the test result to be more uncertain and threatening, and holding a behavioral model of the cause of FAP. Attendance for health screening may be influenced by people's perception of the accuracy of genetic tests that they have undergone. Future research should investigate test presentation and influences on test perception.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Colonic Polyps / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Polyps / genetics*
  • Colonic Polyps / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Biology / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Surveys and Questionnaires