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Soc Work Health Care. 1981 Summer;6(4):17-31.

Psychosocial stress in genetic disorders: a guide for social workers.


Genetic disease affects not only the patients with the diagnosed genetic condition or the carrier of the genetic trait, but also parents, siblings, grandparents, spouses, and the community in which the patient lives. This paper delineates some of the major personal and social cost of genetic disease on a number of levels: personal, marital, parental, family, group, and community. Genetic social work is emerging as an essential new service to persons needing help with the emotional impact of a genetic diagnosis. It is important for social workers to be aware of all levels of stress associated with a genetic disorder in order to help individuals and those close to them cope with the diagnosis or occurrence of a genetic disorder, with the threat of a genetic disorder, and with the recurrent life stresses which they may encounter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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