Enhanced counselling for women undergoing BRCA1/2 testing: Impact on knowledge and psychological distress-results from a randomised clinical trial

Pagona Roussi, Kerry Anne Sherman, Suzanne Miller*, Joanne Buzaglo, Mary Daly, Alan Taylor, Eric Ross, Andrew Godwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This randomised controlled trial evaluated the impact of an enhanced counselling (EC) intervention on knowledge about the heritability of breast and ovarian cancer and distress, as a function of BRCA test result, among high-risk women. Before deciding about whether or not to undergo genetic testing, participants were randomly assigned to the EC intervention (N = 69), designed to promote cognitive and affective processing of cancer risk information (following the standard individualised counselling session), or to the control condition (N = 65), which involved standard individualised counselling followed by a general health information session to control for time and attention. Women in the EC group exhibited greater knowledge than women in the control group, 1 week after the intervention. Further, at the affective level, the intervention was found to be the most beneficial for women testing positive: specifically 1 week after test result disclosure, women in the intervention group who tested positive experienced lower levels of distress than women in the control group who tested positive. The findings suggest that the design of counselling aids should include a component that explicitly activates the individual's cognitive-affective processing system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-415
Number of pages15
JournalPsychology and Health
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

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