Document Detail

Misunderstandings concerning genetics among patients confronting genetic disease.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20512408     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Critical questions arise about misunderstandings of genetics. We interviewed for 2 h each, 64 individuals who had or were at risk for Huntington's disease (HD), breast cancer or Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. These individuals revealed various misunderstandings that can affect coping, and testing, treatment and reproductive decisions. A therapeutic misconception about testing appeared: that testing would be helpful in and of itself. Many believed they could control genetic disorders (even HD), yet these beliefs were often incorrect, and could impede coping, testing, and treatment. Misunderstandings about statistics and genetics often fueled each other, and reflected denial, and desires for hope and control. Emotional needs can thus outweigh understandings of genetics and statistics, and providers' input. Individuals often maintained non-scientific beliefs, though embarrassed by these. These data have implications for care, and public and professional education. Misunderstandings' persistence, despite realization of their inaccuracy, suggests that providers need to address not just cognitive facts, but underlying emotional issues.
Robert L Klitzman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2010-05-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of genetic counseling     Volume:  19     ISSN:  1573-3599     ISO Abbreviation:  J Genet Couns     Publication Date:  2010 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-09-24     Completed Date:  2011-01-03     Revised Date:  2013-05-29    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9206865     Medline TA:  J Genet Couns     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  430-46     Citation Subset:  IM    
Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Psychological
Genetic Diseases, Inborn / diagnosis,  genetics,  psychology*
Middle Aged
Risk Factors
Grant Support
R01-HG002431-01/HG/NHGRI NIH HHS

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