Psychosocial and educational outcomes associated with home- and clinic-based pretest education and cystic fibrosis carrier testing among a population of at-risk relatives

Am J Med Genet. 1998 Feb 17;75(5):461-8.


We report on the psychosocial and knowledge outcomes of two different approaches to cystic fibrosis (CF) gene pretest education and carrier testing offered to 288 proactively recruited first-, second-, and third-degree relatives of people with CF. One group received pretest education and gene testing in a clinical setting from a certified genetic counselor. The other group received pretest education in their homes from a specially prepared pamphlet and were asked to send in a buccal cell sample for genotyping. No statistically significant differences between groups were noted on measures of CF knowledge, anxiety, and positive or negative affect, either while waiting for their test results or within a few weeks after they had learned their results. At both measurement points, participants who had received home education and testing reported that the testing was more convenient, but that they had received less information than they would have liked, and they were more likely to report being confused by the testing, although their level of CF knowledge was comparable to that of people who had been seen by a genetic counselor. In light of the increasing interest in home-based medical testing of all kinds, this study suggests that CF carrier testing in the home warrants further consideration as one possible approach to facilitating access to testing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / psychology*
  • Female
  • Genetic Carrier Screening / methods*
  • Genetic Counseling / psychology*
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Random Allocation
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Adjustment*