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Perceptions of Genetic Counseling as a Cancer Prevention Factor in African American Women

Semester: Summer 2023


Presentation description

Genetic Susceptibility Testing (GST) is an emerging technology used as a cancer prevention tool. Studies show that African American (AA) women are disproportionately impacted by cancer outcomes but are less likely to take preventive measures due to lack of trust among medical personnel and knowledge of healthcare resources. These often lead to GST counseling and testing barriers among AA women for cancer-risk gene discovery. The objective of this study was to explore how genetic counselors and AA leaders in Utah perceive GST as a preventive cancer measure among AA women. Participants (N=4) included 2 genetic counselors and 2 community leaders of predominately AA organizations in Salt Lake City. Questions focused on their organization/work environment, communication about GST, and beliefs about GST screening among AA women in Salt Lake City. A Semi-structured in-depth interview guide was used to conduct the interviews lasted between 45-65 minutes. Interview questions were derived from the parent study, literature review, and an informal conversation with a genetic counselor. In-depth interviews were held via Zoom, audio-recorded, and transcribed for analysis where common preliminary themes were explored; data saturation was not reached. Through constant comparison coding analysis, the team identified preliminary themes that included;

  1. Relationship: physicians are important in increasing awareness about GST through existing physician-patient relationships. The patient's trust in the physician is important in communicating benefits of GST
  2. Knowledge: knowing that GST is a cost-effective resource can be used as important information in communication of screening as a prevention measure,
  3. Spirituality: implementing spirituality or religion into outreach and social support efforts concerning GST. Preliminary results indicate genetic counselors and AA leaders may help to provide important information for GST health promotion among AA women. These opportunities may be possible through community-based outreach and GST health promotion among clinical personnel.

Presenter Name: Christen Daniel

Presentation Type: Poster
Presentation Format: In Person
Presentation #65
College: Health
School / Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Research Mentor: Crystal Lumpkins
Date | Time: Thursday, Aug 3rd | 10:30 AM