Genetic counseling and testing for breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility: What do women want?

Janet Audrain, Barbara Rimer, David Cella, Judy Garber, Beth N. Peshkin, Judith Ellis, Joellen Schildkraut, Michael Stefanek, Victor Vogel, Caryn Lerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess preferences for the content and process of genetic counseling and testing for breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility among women at high risk for breast cancer. Methods: Ninety-eight healthy women who had a family history of breast cancer in at least two first-degree relatives participated in a structured telephone survey that evaluated preferences for type of provider and the content and process of pretest education and posttest genetic counseling. Results: Forty-two percent of women preferred that pretest education be delivered by a genetic counselor, while 22% preferred an oncologist. This preference was positively associated with a desire to discuss psychosocial issues during the session (P = .001). For posttest counseling, 38% of women preferred an oncologist, while 20% preferred a genetic counselor. However, women who desired supportive counseling during this session were significantly more likely to prefer a genetic counselor to an oncologist (P = .02). Fewer women wished to see a primary care physician or gynecologist for pretest education (11%) or posttest counseling (22%). With regard to the counseling process, 82% of women wished to self-refer for genetic counseling, but 63% desired advice and recommendations about whether to be tested. Conclusion: When feasible, the optimal approach may be for oncologists to work with genetic counselors to provide pretest education and medical recommendations. Elicitation of patients' preferences may be useful to determine the level of counseling services needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic counseling and testing for breast-ovarian cancer susceptibility: What do women want?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this