Wen-Ling Kuo, Po-Han Lin, Meng-Ting Peng, Chia-Hui Chu, Chia-Wei Cho
Germline pathogenic variants of BRCA1 or BRCA2 cause hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndromes. The present study investigated the participants' understanding and awareness of germline BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants before genetic counseling, the expectations and obstacles for genetic testing from the perspective of participants and their families, and their attitudes towards genetic testing after counseling. In this single-country, multicenter, non-interventional, patient-reported outcome study, untested cancer patients and their families who visited genetic counseling clinics or who wanted to receive pre-test genetic counseling were eligible to fill in the questionnaire after pre-test counseling for germline BRCA1/2 testing. Demographic information, clinical characteristics, and information collected from the questionnaires, including the understanding of BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants before genetic counseling, understanding of BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants and feelings after genetic counseling, willingness to share results of genetic testing with family, and willingness to receive genetic testing, were summarized using descriptive statistics. A total of 88 participants were enrolled. The proportion of slight understanding of BRCA1/2 pathogenic variants increased from 11.4% to 67.0%, and the proportion of full understanding increased from 0% to 8.0%. After genetic counseling, most participants were willing to undergo genetic testing (87.5%) and share the results with their families (96.6%). The main factors that may affect participants' willingness to undergo BRCA1/2 testing were management (61.2%) and testing costs (25.9%). After pre-test counseling, there was a high acceptance of BRCA1/2 testing and in-family information sharing in Taiwanese patients with cancer and their families, which may serve as a reference for implementing genetic counseling in Taiwan.
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