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Predictive value of breast cancer cognitions and attitudes toward genetic testing on women’s interest in genetic testing for breast cancer risk

Author(s): Reitz, Frauke | Barth, Jürgen | Bengel, Jürgen

Journal: Psycho-Social-Medicine
ISSN 1614-2934

Volume: 1;
Start page: Doc03;
Date: 2004;
Original page

In the past years advances in genetic technologies have led to an increased interest in predictive genetic testing for breast cancer risk. Studies in the US and UK reported an increasing interest among women of the general public in genetic testing for breast cancer risk, although the benefit of such a test is questionable for low risk women.The aim of the present study was to identify factors that predict interest in genetic testing of German women in the general public. Women with neither a family history of breast cancer nor breast cancer themselves received an information letter by mail, were interviewed by telephone, and completed a self-administered questionnaire (N=377).Structural equation modeling was used to determine the predictive value of attitudinal and cognitive variables on interest in genetic testing for breast cancer risk. The resulting model achieved good fit indices, and 42% of variance could be explained. Women with more expectations concerning the test, more positive attitudes concerning genetic testing in general, an increased breast cancer risk perception, and increased breast cancer worries showed more interest in testing.These findings suggest the need for information and counseling strategies for low risk women which should focus in particular on decreasing unrealistic expectations concerning genetic testing for breast cancer risk but also on decreasing perceived breast cancer risk and breast cancer worries.
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