Last updated on February 2018

Genetic Risk: Whether When and How to Tell Adolescents


Brief description of study

This study is being conducted to learn more about family communication of genetic risk information. Semi-structured interviews lasting up to one hour will be conducted with three populations: parent/child pairs at risk for Huntington's Disease, parent/child pairs at risk for hereditary cancer, and genetic counselors.

Detailed Study Description

The investigators currently lack an adequate understanding of how parents and children feel about genetic risk/status, how it is communicated, and how it influences wellbeing and family relationships. This understanding is vital in order for genetic counselors and other health care professionals to provide the best guidance possible to families. However, little research has been conducted on the impact of genetic risk information or testing on children from the perspective of the child. The research proposed here is uniquely positioned to help fill this gap.

For this study, the investigators will interview 15-20 parent/child pairs who are at risk for Huntington's Disease (HD), 15-20 parent/child pairs who are at risk for hereditary cancer, and 15-20 certified genetic counselors. Interviews will last no more than one hour and will be conducted at a time and place that is convenient for the participant. The investigators will offer participants a choice of conducting the interview in a private conference room at the Berman Institute of Bioethics, or remotely by Skype or telephone. Parents and children will be interviewed separately. Parents will be asked about the decision process behind how and when they disclosed genetic information to their child, style of family communication, advice for other parents in similar situations, and other questions related to the subject of communication of genetic information to minors. Children will be asked about their experience learning genetic risk information, style of family communication, how they felt, advice for other kids in similar situations, and other questions related to the subject of communication of genetic information to minors.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03421327

Contact Investigators or Research Sites near you

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Debra Mathews, PhD, MA

Johns Hopkins
Baltimore, MD United States
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