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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2010 Oct;31(10):631-45. doi: 10.3109/01612840.2010.510618.

Systematic review of psychosocial benefits and harms of genetic testing.

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University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing, Austin, Texas 78701, USA.


Genetic testing can help individuals and families by giving them a sense of control over their futures; however, results of some types of testing cause individuals and their families great distress and anxiety. The purpose of this paper is to report findings from a systematic review of literature about perceived benefits and harms associated with genetic testing. A second purpose was to determine if perceived benefits and harms varied by age and gender. We reviewed a sample of 30 articles published between 1997 and 2009. Most of the articles were other literature reviews. We summarized the benefits and harms associated with each type of genetic testing and made recommendations for future study. As technologies increase, genetic testing will expand and psychiatric mental health nurses must be prepared to meet the challenges of psychosocial disorders that may develop in response to genetic testing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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