Metcalfe KA, Poll A, Llacuachaqui M, Nanda S, Tulman A, Mian N, Sun P, Narod SA. Patient satisfaction and cancer-related distress among unselected Jewish women undergoing genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2.
It is not known to what extent participation in a genetic testing program for BRCA1 and BRCA2, which does not include an extensive pre-test counselling session, influences cancer-related distress, cancer risk perception and patient satisfaction. Unselected Jewish women in Ontario were offered genetic testing for three common Jewish BRCA mutations. Before testing and 1-year post-testing, the women completed questionnaires which assessed cancer-related distress, cancer risk perception, and satisfaction. A total of 2080 women enrolled in the study; of these, 1516 (73%) completed a 1-year follow-up questionnaire. In women with a BRCA mutation, the mean breast cancer risk perception increased from 41.1% to 59.6% after receiving a positive genetic test result (p = 0.002). Among non-carriers, breast cancer risk perception decreased slightly, from 35.8% to 33.5% (p = 0.08). The mean level of cancer-related distress increased significantly for women with a BRCA mutation, but did not change in women without a mutation; 92.8% expressed satisfaction with the testing process. The results of this study suggest that the majority of Jewish women who took part in population genetic screening for BRCA1 and BRCA2 were satisfied with the delivery of genetic testing and would recommend testing to other Jewish women. However, women with a BRCA mutation experienced increased levels of cancer-related distress.