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Am J Med Genet. 1993 May 1;48(1):10-6.

Presymptomatic DNA-testing for Huntington disease: pretest attitudes and expectations of applicants and their partners in the Dutch program.

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Clinical Genetics Centre, University Hospital Leiden, The Netherlands.


We studied the baseline attitudes, prior to testing, of 70 applicants at risk for Huntington disease (HD) and their partners in the Dutch presymptomatic DNA-testing program. Two thirds of the applicants were female; 36% already had children. The main reason (60%) for undertaking the test was for family planning. Other reasons were either to reduce uncertainty (43%) or to obtain certainty (38%). Partners of applicants stated that planning for the future was for them the most important reason (76%). Significantly more at-risk females (42%) than males (16%) anticipated an unfavorable test outcome. Quite remarkably, most applicants and partners denied that a positive result might have adverse effects on either personal mood, quality of life, or marriage. Only a few did not expect that a favorable result would induce relief. The eventual outcome of the test was expected to enable applicants to gain control over their future, whatever the results. Hence, we propose that the applicants form a self-selected group, based on their expectation that they will not be emotionally affected by either result.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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