Clin Genet. 2014 Aug 5. doi: 10.1111/cge.12473. [Epub ahead of print]
Routine assessment of psychosocial problems after cancer genetic counseling: Results from a randomized controlled trial.
Eijzenga W1, Bleiker EM, Ausems MG, Sidharta GN, Van der Kolk LE, Velthuizen ME, Hahn DE, Aaronson NK.
Approximately 70% of counselees undergoing cancer genetic counseling and testing (CGCT) experience some degree of CGCT-related psychosocial problems. We evaluated the efficacy of an intervention designed to increase detection and management of problems four weeks after completion of CGCT.
In this randomized, controlled trial, 118 participants completed a CGCT-related problem questionnaire prior to an -audiotaped- telephone session with their counselor one month after DNA-test disclosure. For those randomized to the intervention group (n = 63), a summary of the questionnaire results was provided to the counselor prior to the telephone session. Primary outcomes were discussion of the problems, counselors' awareness of problems, and problem management. Secondary outcomes included self-reported distress, cancer worries, CGCT-related problems, and satisfaction.
Counselors who received a summary of the questionnaire were more aware of counselees' problems in only one psychosocial domain (practical issues). No significant differences in the number of problems discussed, in problem management, or on any of the secondary outcomes were observed. The prevalence of problems was generally low.
The telephone session, combined with feedback on psychosocial problems, has minimal impact. The low prevalence of psychosocial problems one month post-CGCT recommends against its use as a routine extension of the CGCT procedure.
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Randomized controlled trial; cancer genetic counseling; communication; distress; psychosocial problems; screening
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