Psychological aspects of genetic counselling: a review of the experience with Huntington's disease

Patient Educ Couns. 1997 Sep-Oct;32(1-2):33-40. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(97)00066-9.


Presymptomatic DNA-testing for adult-onset diseases has serious psychological consequences. Here the psychological consequences of presymptomatic DNA-testing for Huntington's disease are reviewed. Both carriers and non-carriers experience emotional reactions after disclosure of their test result. However, up to today no long-term adverse emotional consequences have been revealed. Future research on other adult-onset genetic diseases should provide information about the reactions of children. In genetic counselling, attention should be paid to the reactions of people with a decreased risk. Genetic counselling must focus on the whole family and not on the individual applicant.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Family / psychology
  • Genetic Carrier Screening
  • Genetic Counseling / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / genetics*
  • Huntington Disease / psychology*