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Genet Test. 2004 Fall;8(3):336-46.

Assessment of a decision aid to assist genetic testing research participants in the informed consent process.

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Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7440, USA.


Limited attention has been given to applying decision-making theories from psychology to the content and process of informed consent in genetic testing research. Data are presented from a study that developed and assessed a psychological theory-based decision aid as part of the informed consent process. This innovative approach assisted at-risk women in assessing the consequences of participating in a research project that offered them free hemophilia A genetic carrier testing. Results suggest: (1) the decision aid can be incorporated into the consent process with few problems; (2) women of varying educational backgrounds can complete the decision aid; (3) while women consider many consequences of genetic testing, their primary focus is on the implications for their family; and (4) this is in marked contrast to the typical benefit-harm statements prepared by researchers for genetic testing.

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