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Web-Based Education Could Aid in Pre-Disclosure of Genetic Testing Results Education

A web-based education could be a viable alternative for pre-disclosure of results genetic counseling, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere contacted women who had taken part in 11 different gene discovery cohorts to invite them to receive cancer genetic testing results. As they report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, nearly 58 percent of the 819 women contacted enrolled in the study, more than 88 percent chose a web-based pre-disclosure instead of speaking with a genetic counselor, and about 82 percent finished the web-based education. More than 88 percent of all participants who completed pre-disclosure education received results, with no difference by education type. The researchers further noted no increase in misunderstanding or distress among those who received web-based education, suggesting it "is a viable delivery alternative as long as completion rates can be addressed." The researchers noted, though, that women who could not be reached for this study were more likely to be non-white and have less formal education, as were participants who actively or passively declined results, and that these are areas future research should address.

MDx, in the journals, Scan