A follow-up study of 212 families for whom genetic counseling had been provided was performed to assess the effectiveness of the non-directive genetic counseling service at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. The preliminary results have been reported previously (Godmilow & Hirschhorn 1977). Of those families surveyed, 72% responded. Adequate recall of the genetic information was demonstrated by 74% of those responding, and 80% described their counseling experience as favorable. A direct relationship was noted between the degree of satisfaction and whether or not the counselees received the mode of counseling they preferred, i.e., individual versus team. Sixty-two percent of those counselees reaching a procreative decision indicated that genetic counseling had influenced their decision making. A significant correlation was noted between the magnitude of the occurrence or recurrence risk and the procreative decisions reached. However, some decisions were modified by the counselees' subjective interpretation of the burden associated with the disorder in question.
It is concluded that follow-up of genetic counseling by questionnaire, together with statistical analysis of the data received, can provide the genetic center with valuable information regarding strengths and weaknesses of the counseling program and can suggest ways to improve the counseling process and thereby enhance its effectiveness.