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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Nov;160(11):1131-6.

Parental reactions to information about increased genetic risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus in infants.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Turku, Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, 20520 Turku, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the anxiety, emotions, thoughts, and coping behaviors of parents 1 week after they receive the results of screening of their infant's genetic risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus.

DESIGN:

Survey.

SETTING:

The population-based Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention project conducted in Turku.

PARTICIPANTS:

Parents of 443 consecutive high-risk infants and 506 next-born low-risk infants.

INTERVENTIONS:

An infant's genetic risk of type 1 diabetes mellitus was measured from cord blood. High-risk information was delivered by telephone and low-risk information by mail 4 weeks later.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Anxiety measured using the state anxiety scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and feelings, thoughts, and coping behaviors extracted from the questionnaire.

RESULTS:

One week after obtaining the results, 67% of mothers and 63% of fathers of high-risk children and 58% of mothers and 54% of fathers of low-risk children had returned the questionnaire. Anxiety levels of parents of high-risk infants were similar to those of parents of low-risk infants (P = .86). More than 90% of the parents thought that it was good to know about the risk. Fifty-five percent of mothers and 37% of fathers of high-risk infants expressed modest worry. Increased anxiety was connected with other stressful life events, catastrophizing thoughts of diabetes mellitus risk, and emotion-focused or avoiding coping attitudes.

CONCLUSIONS:

Learning about their infant's genetic diabetes mellitus risk induces only mild anxiety in most parents. Identifying the few parents with stronger anxiety helps focus intensified counseling.

Comment in

PMID:
17088516
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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