Enhanced counseling for women undergoing BRCA1/2 testing

Impact on subsequent decision making about risk reduction behaviors

Suzanne M. Miller*, Pagona Roussi, Mary B. Daly, Joanne S. Buzaglo, Kerry Sherman, Andrew K. Godwin, Andrew Balshem, Margaret E. Atchison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)


The authors evaluated the impact of an enhanced counseling intervention, designed to promote well-informed decision making for follow-up risk reduction options for ovarian cancer, among high-risk women undergoing BRCA1/2 testing (N = 77). Following standard genetic counseling, participants received either an enhanced counseling session - designed to help participants anticipate their reactions to possible test outcomes and plan for postresult consequences - or a general health information control session. One week after disclosure of test results, women in the enhanced counseling group experienced a greater reduction in avoidant ideation, suggesting more complete processing of risk feedback. At the 6-month follow-up, intervention respondents reported seeking out more information about prophylactic oophorectomy and were more likely to have actually undergone preventive surgery. The results indicate that the use of enhanced counseling can play an important role in decision making about risk reduction behaviors following BRCA1/2 testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-667
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • BRCA1/2 genetic risk
  • Enhanced counseling intervention
  • Prophylactic ovarian surgery

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