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Clin Genet. 2002 Aug;62(2):121-7.

Family issues in a psychoeducation group for women with a BRCA mutation.

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  • 1Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Wynne Center for Family Research, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Few services exist for women who test positive for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations despite the distress that they and their families may experience. We present one model of a time-limited family-oriented psychoeducation group to provide information and support for nine women who received positive test results. We report on five family-oriented themes that arose from the discussions: distress about possible transmission to children; family conflict about testing; concerns about disclosure; different coping styles and decision making; and underlying family conflict and unresolved grief. We also include recommendations from these women to enhance the services available to families by expanding assessment, and providing written literature and contact information. In addition, referrals for a psychoeducation group, community support group, or psychotherapy may be useful for individuals, couples and families who are considering genetic testing for BRCA mutations.

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