Assessment of psychosocial outcomes in genetic counseling research: An overview of available measurement scales

Nadine A. Kasparian*, Claire E. Wakefield, Bettina Meiser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present paper was to describe and evaluate many of the measurement scales currently used in genetic counseling outcomes research. A team of three researchers reviewed the available literature and selected a variety of validated instruments suitable for measurement of genetic counseling outcomes. There are numerous scales to assess each of the following outcomes among counselees: satisfaction with genetic counseling; knowledge; decision-making; psychological adjustment; coping; perceived personal control; perceptions of disease risk; and family communication about genetic risk. However, the strengths and limitations inherent to each instrument warrant careful consideration prior to implementation. In the genetic counseling context, scale selection should be undertaken with thought directed towards the characteristics of the research sample (e.g. levels of literacy, culture, medical condition), the practicalities of the research setting (e.g. available funding and resources, time restrictions, researcher expertise), the purpose of the research (i.e. the specific aspect of the genetic counseling experience to be studied), and the science underlying the scale (e.g. theoretical framework, psychometric properties).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-712
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Client satisfaction
  • Decision-making
  • Distress
  • Family communication
  • Genetic counseling
  • Perceived risk
  • Psychological outcomes


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