Twenty-eight former genetic counseling clients seen at a major Midwestern university were recruited to be interviewed about their genetic counseling experiences, including most and least helpful aspects, what they learned, how this information impacted their decision-making, and their perceptions of their genetic counselors' behaviors. Responses were inductively analyzed, and several themes were identified, including: Clients sought genetic counseling to obtain genetic-medical information; a majority accurately recalled this information; genetic counseling influenced decisions for about 50% of the sample; decision-making was affected by several extra- session factors; a majority experienced distress during the session; most perceived genetic counselor responses as nondirective and liked this approach; counselor behaviors regarded as directive involved discussion of pregnancy termination; participants disagreed about the need for and provision of genetic counselor support; most regarded the session as helpful and stated that they would seek genetic counseling again. Suggestions for addressing these issues in practice and research are given.
- Client perceptions
- Genetic counseling