Healthy women with a family history of breast cancer: Impact of a tailored genetic counseling intervention on risk perception, knowledge, and menopausal therapy decision making

Ellen T. Matloff, Anne Moyer, Kristen M. Shannon, Kristin B. Niendorf, Nananda F. Col

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Women with a family history of breast cancer have several menopausal therapy options, including tamoxifen, hormone therapy (FIT), alternative medications, or no treatment. This complex decision should be based on each woman's risk to develop breast cancer, menopausal symptoms, preferences, and risks for other conditions. The authors determined the effects of a personalized risk assessment and genetic counseling intervention on knowledge, risk perception, and decision making in a group of healthy women who had a first-degree relative with breast cancer. Methods: Forty-eight cancer-free menopausal women age ≥40 years who had at least one first-degree relative with breast cancer were randomized to a genetic counseling intervention or control. Intervention participants were given a personalized risk assessment for breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and uterine cancer based on family history arid personal health data. Knowledge, risk perception, and medication usage were measured at baseline, 1 month, and 6 months. Results: Knowledge was higher in the intervention group at both follow-up time points postintervention. Perceived risk for developing breast cancer was significantly lower and more accurate in the intervention group at 1 and 6 months postintervention than at baseline, as was perceived risk of developing heart disease. Although the counseling intervention did affect both knowledge and risk perception, overall, both groups were reluctant to take any form of menopausal therapy. Conclusions: A personalized risk assessment and genetic counseling intervention improves patient knowledge and risk perception; however, it is unclear that the intervention influenced menopausal treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)843-856
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Volume15
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Healthy women with a family history of breast cancer: Impact of a tailored genetic counseling intervention on risk perception, knowledge, and menopausal therapy decision making'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this