Attitudes, knowledge, risk perceptions and decision-making among women with breast and/or ovarian cancer considering testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 and their spouses

Psychooncology. Jul-Aug 2003;12(5):410-27. doi: 10.1002/pon.653.

Abstract

A limited number of studies have examined the involvement of spouses in the decision-making process for genetic testing as well as impact of the actual testing. This report presents data from 40 women with a personal history of breast and/or ovarian cancer who were considering genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 and their spouses. We examined knowledge and attitudes regarding genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility, perceptions of the likelihood that their wives (the women) had a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, pros and cons of genetic testing, spouses' satisfaction with their involvement in the decision-making process and additional resources they would find helpful. Knowledge about cancer genetics and genetic testing for BRCA1 and BCA2 was limited among both women and their spouses. Up to one-third of spouses indicated that they would like to avail themselves of additional sources of information about BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing. Most spouses indicated that they thought their wives had a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and that their wives' breast cancers would recur. Pros of genetic testing were emphasized more than cons among both parties. Overall, spouses were satisfied with their role in the decision-making process. Future interventions to improve the decision-making process regarding genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility should be undertaken.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics*
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology*
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / psychology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Risk
  • Spouses / psychology*

Substances

  • ABCG2 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • Neoplasm Proteins