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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1999 Apr;8(4 Pt 2):329-36.

Correlates of intentions to obtain genetic counseling and colorectal cancer gene testing among at-risk relatives from three ethnic groups.

Author information

  • 1Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, University of Hawaii, Honolulu 96813, USA. kglanz@hawaii.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

An understanding of factors associated with interest in genetic counseling and intentions to obtain colorectal cancer susceptibility testing is an important foundation for developing education, counseling, and genetic services and policies.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A survey was mailed to first-degree relatives of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The respondents (n = 426, 77% response rate) are siblings and adult children of Caucasian, Japanese, and Hawaiian ethnicity. Data collection was guided by a conceptual framework and included questions on demographics, family cancer history, predisposing factors (cancer worry, perceived risk, well-being), and enabling factors (decision preferences, social support, and health care factors). Logistic regression analysis on two binary dependent variables (interest in counseling and intentions to get genetic testing) was performed using Generalized Estimating Equations to account for family clusters.

RESULTS:

Forty-five % of respondents were interested in genetic counseling, and 26% "definitely" intended to get genetic testing for colon cancer when available. For counseling interest, the most important predictors were education, Hawaiian ethnicity, cancer worry, and family support. Cancer worry, perceived risk, and age (older) were directly, and Japanese ethnicity was inversely, associated with testing intentions.

CONCLUSIONS:

High rates of interest in cancer genetic testing are similar to those found in other studies. Ethnic differences reveal a paradox between objective population risk (higher for Japanese) and greater concerns (among Hawaiians). The substantial lack of awareness of family history warrants further research. Culturally sensitive education and counseling are needed for managing the likely high demand for personalized information about hereditary cancer risk.

PMID:
10207637
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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