There is no decision to make

Experiences and attitudes toward treatment-focused genetic testing among women diagnosed with ovarian cancer

B. Meiser*, M. Gleeson, N. Kasparian, K. Barlow-Stewart, M. Ryan, K. Watts, D. Menon, G. Mitchell, K. Tucker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: There is growing evidence that the BRCA mutation status of women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer may be used to make treatment recommendations in the future. This qualitative study aimed to assess women's attitudes and experiences toward treatment-focused genetic testing (TFGT). Methods: Women (N = 22) with ovarian cancer who had either (i) advanced disease and had previously had TFGT (n = 12) or (ii) had a recent ovarian cancer diagnosis and were asked about their hypothetical views of TFGT (n = 10), were interviewed in-depth. Results: This study demonstrates that patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer found the concept of TFGT acceptable with the primary motivation for genetic testing being to increase their treatment options. Women reported that there was no decision to make about TFGT, and the advantages of TFGT were perceived to outweigh the disadvantages. Many women described elements of resilience and active coping, in the context of hypothetical and actual TFGT. Conclusions: Resilience and active coping strategies are important factors that warrant investigation as potential moderators of psychological distress in future prospective studies exploring the optimal way of offering BRCA genetic testing to women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and to assess the impact of TFGT upon patients' survival, psychological distress, and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • Genetics
  • Ovarian cancer

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