Anxiety related to genetic testing for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and cystic fibrosis in COPD and/or bronchiectasis patients.
Coors, Marilyn E.
Levinson, Arnold H.
Huitt, Gwen A.
Community Genetics 2008 March; 11(3): 135-140
OBJECTIVE: To describe the psychological reaction to information about diagnostic genetic testing for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (Alpha-1) and cystic fibrosis (CF) in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and/or bronchiectasis patients who were tested but did not know the results. METHODS: One hundred and three adults took the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory before and after a standardized educational intervention and responded to a questionnaire. RESULTS: Information about the limitations, risks and benefits of Alpha-1 and CF testing did not raise mean anxiety levels. Mean anxiety was slightly lower after the educational intervention than at baseline (mean pretest score 35.0, posttest score 33.7; p < 0.05). Participants whose physician preinformed them of genetic testing had slightly higher mean anxiety than other participants, both before and after the intervention, but scores were comparable to those in a normative sample of general medical and surgical patients. CONCLUSIONS: Disclosure of information regarding Alpha-1 and CF testing appears to be potentially acceptable to patients and unlikely to prevent clinicians from conducting useful diagnostic procedures. This study is a step in alleviating concerns about raising issues related to genetic testing for Alpha-1 and CF in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients during the informed consent process.
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