Identification of cognitive profiles among women considering BRCA1/2 testing through the utilisation of cluster analytic techniques

Pagona Roussi, Kerry A. Sherman, Suzanne M. Miller, Karen Hurley, Mary B. Daly, Andrew Godwin, Joanne S. Buzaglo, Kuang Yi Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Based on the cognitive-social health information processing model, we identified cognitive profiles of women at risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Prior to genetic counselling, participants (N = 171) completed a study questionnaire concerning their cognitive and affective responses to being at genetic risk. Using cluster analysis, four cognitive profiles were generated: (a) high perceived risk/low coping; (b) low value of screening/high expectancy of cancer; (c) moderate perceived risk/moderate efficacy of prevention/low informativeness of test result; and (d) high efficacy of prevention/high coping. The majority of women in Clusters One, Two and Three had no personal history of cancer, whereas Cluster Four consisted almost entirely of women affected with cancer. Women in Cluster One had the highest number of affected relatives and experienced higher levels of distress than women in the other three clusters. These results highlight the need to consider the psychological profile of women undergoing genetic testing when designing counselling interventions and messages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1343
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


Cite this