J Community Genet. 2014 Aug 7. [Epub ahead of print]
Women's concerns about the emotional impact of awareness of heritable breast cancer risk and its implications for their children.
Women tested for mutations in BRCA1/2 genes who have minor-aged children confront difficult decisions about if, when, and how to share information about hereditary cancer risk with their children. These choices are often seemingly influenced by how mothers anticipate the emotional burdens they and their children will experience in response to test results. Here, we investigate the association between maternal cognitions, pretest psychological well-being, and coping style with mothers' anticipated emotional reactions to learning that they are BRCA1/2 mutation carriers (N = 205). In a linear regression model adjusted for maternal demographics, stronger tendencies to ruminate about information (B = .14, p = .03), greater psychological strain (B = .14, p < .001), and poorer appraisals of one's ability to cope with genetic test results conveying increased breast cancer risk information (B = -.25, p < .001) were significantly associated with anticipating more negative affect surrounding BRCA1/2 mutation identification in mothers. Our data contribute to the growing awareness of special concerns that mothers have about knowing their BRCA1/2 mutation status and highlight the need for more tailored patient education and counseling resources to improve outcomes among women at risk and their children.
- [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]