Risk Perception and Psychological Distress in Genetic Counselling for Hereditary Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer

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Oncological Genetic Counselling (CGO) allows the identification of a genetic component that increases the risk of developing a cancer. Individuals’ psychological reactions are influenced by both the content of the received information and the subjective perception of their own risk of becoming ill or being a carrier of a genetic mutation. This study included 120 participants who underwent genetic counselling for breast and/or ovarian cancer. The aim of the study was to examine the relation between their cancer risk perception and the genetic risk during CGO before receiving genetic test results, considering the influence of some psychological variables, in particular distress, anxiety and depression. Participants completed the following tools during a psychological interview: a socio-demographic form, Cancer Risk Perception (CRP) and Genetic Risk Perception (GRP), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Distress Thermometer (DT). The data seem to confirm our hypothesis. Positive and significant correlations were found between the observed variables. Moreover, genetic risk perception determined an increase in depressive symptomatology and cancer risk perception led to an increase in anxious symptomatology, specifically in participants during cancer treatment. The present results suggest the importance of assessing genetic and cancer risk perception in individuals who undergo CGO, to identify those who are at risk of a decrease in psychological well-being and of developing greater psychological distress.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)999-1007
Numero di pagine9
RivistaJournal of Genetic Counseling
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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