Fam Cancer. 2014 Apr 27. [Epub ahead of print]
Evaluating the utilization of educational materials in communicating about Lynch syndrome to at-risk relatives.
Facilitating family communication about Lynch syndrome is a public health priority since following appropriate screening guidelines can decrease morbidity and mortality. The aims of this study were to (1) ascertain what educational materials individuals with Lynch syndrome provide to at-risk relatives, and (2) identify relationships between receiving educational materials and pursuing clinical follow-up. Seventy-four participants, recruited from the Stanford Cancer Institute and a support group, completed an online questionnaire; 50 were first to be diagnosed with a Lynch syndrome mutation in their family (probands) and 24 were first or second-degree relatives. Probands reported informing 88 % (184/209) of first-degree relatives and 64 % (161/252) of second-degree relatives of the mutation. Probands shared their genetic counseling note with 53 % of relatives; other resources, including family letters, personal notes, testing laboratory information, online resources, support group information, and genetics referrals, were given to 33 % or fewer relatives. Probands reported that female relatives (p = 0.028) and first-degree relatives (p ≤ 0.001) were more likely to be given materials. Relatives who received an educational material were more likely to follow up with a clinician (74 vs 22 %, p ≤0.001) and attend a genetic counseling appointment (43 vs 16 %, p ≤ 0.001). First-degree relatives who received an educational material were more likely to have undergone genetic testing (51 vs 19 %, p = 0.012) and cancer screening (69 vs 29 %, p = 0.001). Facilitating information transmission in families with Lynch syndrome using educational materials may play a role in informed clinical decision-making and cascade screening of at-risk relatives.
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