ICARE Publication January 2021

Sharing genetic test results with family members of BRCA, PALB2, CHEK2, and ATM carriers

Objective: This study explored motivators and challenges/barriers to sharing personal genetic test results (GTR) with family members (FM).

Methods: Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 62 women who had a pathogenic or likely pathogenic (P/LP) variant in a BRCA, PALB2, CHEK2, or ATM gene. Selective qualitative data analysis focused on eliciting motivators and challenges/barriers identified by participants when sharing their GTR with FM.

Results: Motivators to sharing personal GTR with FM included: health protection and prevention; moral obligation; decisional empowerment; familial ties; written resources; and contextualization for a familial cause for cancer. Challenges/barriers to family sharing included: concern for FM reactions; complexities of information; lack of closeness; perceived relevance; and emotional impact.

Conclusions: All motivators and challenges/barriers were identified across BRCA and non-BRCA carriers, demonstrating commonalities in family sharing of GTR among high- to moderate-penetrance hereditary BC (breast cancer) genes. Despite challenges/barriers, participants disclosed their GTR with most close FM, yet restrictions in communication and/or strain on the timing, manner of disclosing, and strategies used varied across certain FM.

Practice implications: These findings offer healthcare providers and researchers preliminary practical implications for broadly improving family sharing interventions across P/LP variants in BC risk genes by demonstrating important elements to include in family sharing letters.

Dean M, et al. Sharing genetic test results with family members of BRCA, PALB2, CHEK2, and ATM carriers. Patient Educ Couns. 2021 Jan 5; Online ahead of print. PMID: 33455826.


Permanent link to this article: https://inheritedcancer.net/pub10521/