Satisfaction With Genetic Counseling for BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations Among African American Women

Patient Educ Couns. 2006 Oct;63(1-2):196-204. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2005.10.007. Epub 2006 Mar 14.


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate satisfaction with genetic counseling for BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutations among African American women.

Methods: Participants were 54 African American women at moderate and high risk for BRCA1/2 mutations who were offered genetic testing as part of a randomized clinical trial designed to compare the effects of culturally tailored genetic counseling (CTGC) and standard genetic counseling (SGC). Satisfaction with genetic counseling was evaluated using a self-administered questionnaire following culturally tailored or standard pre-test education and counseling.

Results: Overall, the majority of women (96%) were very satisfied with genetic counseling; however, only 26% reported that their worries were lessened and 22% reported that they were able to cope better. Women who received CTGC were significantly more likely than women who received SGC to report that their worries were lessened (p<0.05). In addition, women with household incomes less than US$ 35,000 were significantly more likely to report that the counselor lessened their worries compared to women with higher incomes (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Most African American women were satisfied with genetic counseling; however, women who received culturally tailored genetic counseling were significantly more likely to strongly agree that their worries were lessened compared to women who received standard genetic counseling.

Practice implications: Discussion of cultural beliefs and values during genetic counseling may be beneficial to African American women, especially those with low incomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / education
  • African Americans / ethnology*
  • African Americans / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Genes, BRCA2*
  • Genetic Counseling* / methods
  • Genetic Counseling* / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration
  • Patient Satisfaction / ethnology*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women / education
  • Women / psychology*