Predictors of Cognitive Appraisals Following Genetic Testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations

J Behav Med. 2004 Aug;27(4):373-92. doi: 10.1023/b:jobm.0000042411.56032.42.


The objectives of this study were (1) to describe perceptions of stress and confidence following genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutations and (2) to identify predictors of these processes. Participants were 130 high-risk women affected with cancer who received BRCA1/2 test results. Individual difference characteristics and interpersonal factors were measured by self-report before genetic counseling and perceptions of stress and confidence were evaluated by self-report 1 month following disclosure of test results. BRCA1/2 test results had a significant effect only on perceptions of stress (beta = 0.38, p = 0.0001), while trait anxiety had a significant effect on both perceptions of stress (beta = 0.44, p = 0.0001) and confidence (beta = -0.41, p = 0.001). These results suggest that interventions designed to address perceptions of stress related to medical decision-making and familial concerns may need to be targeted to BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and individuals who are highly anxious.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Genetic Counseling / psychology*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / psychology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Self Efficacy
  • Sick Role*