Background. This study assessed counseling and testing needs from the perspective of adult members of a large African-American kindred with a BRCA1 mutation. Methods. Interviews were conducted with 95 male and female kindred members to elicit information on sociodemographics, attitudes toward health care providers, breast cancer screening behaviors, and religious/spiritual beliefs, as well as to evaluate psychological distress, beliefs, knowledge, and attitudes related to genetic testing. Results. Knowledge about breast and ovarian cancer genetics was limited. Adherence to screening recommendations was low among females with no personal breast or ovarian cancer history. The majority (67%) wished to discuss risk factors with a health care provider. Most participants (82%) indicated that they would have a genetic test if it were available. Significant predictors of intent to undergo testing were having at least one first-degree relative with breast and/or ovarian cancer (OR = 5.1; 95% CI = 1.2-20.9) and perceived risk of being a gene carrier ≥50% (OR 64.3; 95% CI = 5.1-803.9) or reporting that they did not know their risk of being a gene carrier (OR = 10.9; 95% CI = 2.1-57.7). Cited barriers to testing included cost and availability. Conclusion. There is a high-interest level in genetic testing despite limited knowledge about cancer genetics among these high-risk African-Americans. Our study provides information for designing a genetic education and counseling intervention for this and similar families.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Breast cancer
- Genetic testing