Genetic testing–a family affair

From EurekAlert:

An article in the recent issue of Family Process presents the family-centered
model created to guide the psychological and social implications of genetic
testing. The rapidly growing availability of genetic testing to learn about
future disease risk poses a number of clinical and ethical dilemmas for
patients, their families and healthcare professionals. "The need for a
family-based approach that deals with the psychosocial consequences of acquiring
and living with genetic information has never been more urgent," state the
authors. Living with genetic risk information often continues for a lifetime. To
meet this challenge, biopsychosocial models of healthcare will need to shift
from a focus on intervention after disease onset to more predictive and
preventive approaches before symptoms appear.

The model clusters genomic disorders based on key characteristics that define
types of disorders with similar patterns of psychosocial demands over time. Key
disease variables include: the likelihood of developing a disorder based on
specific genetic mutations, overall clinical severity, timing of clinical-onset
in the life cycle, and whether effective treatment interventions exist to alter
disease onset and/or progression.

This model is published in the current issue of Family Process. Media wishing
to receive a pdf of this article please contact

Certain to be an issue in the cancer field.

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