Psychosocial approaches to participation in BRCA1/2 genetic risk assessment among African American women: A systematic review

Kerry A. Sherman*, Suzanne M. Miller, Laura Kate Shaw, Karen Cavanagh, Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Breast cancer is a significant health concern for African American women. Nonetheless, uptake of genetic risk assessment (including both genetic counseling and testing) for breast cancer gene mutations among these populations remains low. This paper systematically reviews cognitive (i.e., beliefs) and affective (i.e., emotions) factors influencing BRCA1/2 genetic risk assessment among African American women as well as psychosocial interventions to facilitate informed decision making in this population. A systematic search of CINAHL, PubMed, and PsycINFO was undertaken, yielding 112 published studies. Of these, 18 met the eligibility criteria. African American woman are likely to participate in genetic risk assessment if they are knowledgeable about cancer genetics, perceive a high risk of developing breast cancer, have low expectancies of stigmatization from medical professionals, view themselves as independent from family, and have fatalistic beliefs and a future temporal orientation. Anticipated negative affective responses, such as an inability to "handle" the results of testing, are barriers to uptake. Specific perceptions, beliefs, and emotional factors are associated with genetic risk assessment among African American women. Understanding these factors is key in the development of interventions to facilitate informed decision making in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Community Genetics
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

Keywords

  • African American
  • BRCA1/2
  • Breast cancer
  • Genetic testing
  • Review

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