Randomized comparison of phone versus in-person BRCA1/2 predisposition genetic test result disclosure counseling

Genet Med. 2007 Aug;9(8):487-95. doi: 10.1097/gim.0b013e31812e6220.


Purpose: This study evaluated whether phone results were equivalent to in-person result disclosure for individuals undergoing BRCA1/2 predisposition genetic testing.

Methods: A total of 111 of 136 subjects undergoing education and counseling for BRCA1/2 predisposition genetic testing agreed to randomization to phone or in-person result disclosure. Content and format for both sessions were standardized. Data from the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Psychological General Well-Being index were collected at baseline and then again at 1 week and 3 months after disclosure of test results. Baseline measures were administered after the following had occurred: counseling/education session had been conducted, informed consent had been obtained, and decision to be tested had been made. Satisfaction and cost assessments were administered after the result session. At 1 week, participants were asked their preferred method of result disclosure.

Results: There were no differences in anxiety and general well-being measures between 50 phone and 52 in-person results disclosure. Both groups reported similar rates of satisfaction with services. Among those with a preference, 77% preferred the notification method assigned. There was a statistically significant preference for phone results among the 23% who did not prefer the method assigned. Greater costs were associated with in-person result disclosure.

Conclusions: These data suggest that phone results are a reasonable alternative to traditional in-person BRCA1/2 genetic test disclosure without any negative psychologic outcomes or compromise in knowledge. However, further study is needed in a more clinically representative population to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics*
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease* / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Telephone*


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • BLID protein, human
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA1 protein, human
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • BRCA2 protein, human