On attitudes and appreciation 6 months after predictive DNA testing for Huntington disease in the Dutch program

Am J Med Genet. 1993 Jul 15;48(2):103-11. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.1320480209.


We have studied the 6-month follow-up attitudes of 63 individuals, after predictive testing for Huntington disease (HD). Reducing uncertainty (81%) and family planning (60%) were the major reasons for taking the test. Twenty-four individuals were diagnosed as having an increased risk (+/- 98%), and 39 a decreased risk (+/- 2%). Among those with an increased risk, denial or minimization of the ultimate impact of the increased risk result was observed. Most of them (84%) rated their current life situation, at the very least, as being good. Twenty-one percent of individuals with an increased risk who originally planned to have a family, decided to refrain from having children. Sixty percent of those with increased risk who still wished to have children, would choose to have prenatal testing. In most individuals with increased risk, the test result did not increase the previously expected control over their own future. Half of the partners of persons with increased risk acknowledged the burden of the future disease. Half had no one in whom they could confide. They showed loyalty to the denial and avoidance reactions of their spouses. Half of the individuals with decreased risk denied the impact of the result, as reflected by absence of relief, and emotional numbness. A third of persons with decreased risk experienced involvement with problems of affected relatives. We found that 20% of all participants were discontented with the support given by their general practitioner, who is normally regarded as being the most significant professional for aftercare. Our findings suggest that the perpetuation

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Denial, Psychological
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / diagnosis*
  • Huntington Disease / psychology*
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Psychological Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires