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Title: Psychological aspects of genetic testing for cancer
Author: Steggles, Naomi
ISNI:       0000 0001 3479 5196
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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The aim of this thesis is to explore psychological aspects of genetic testing for cancer, testing theoretical models to determine predictors of intention to have a genetic test. The main study disease is colon cancer, which is a good model for studying psychological aspects of genetic testing. This thesis will address two main themes. The first will explore the associates of intent to have a genetic test for colon cancer in people with a family history, but who are currently asymptomatic. The second theme will explore the generalisability of these results to other groups. In the first study, correlates of intention to have genetic testing were explored within asymptomatic patients at high risk of colon cancer. Specific comparisons assessed the effect of gender on intent to undergo genetic testing and on anticipated emotional outcomes. A year later the stability of the theoretical models used was assessed. The second theme was explored firstly by comparing views of genetic testing held by people at high risk of colon cancer with views held by their partners. In the next study participants with a personal history of cancer were included to explore differences between them and unaffected participants. In the sixth study the enquiry extended to encompass a general population sample, focusing on the influence of objective risk. Finally, comparisons were made between the original sample and women attending a Regional Genetics Service for counselling about breast cancer risk. The studies found high levels of intent to have a genetic test and supported the Theory of Reasoned Action, with the addition of Health Belief Model components. Comparison studies revealed strong similarities between correlates of intent to have genetic testing in people at risk of colon cancer compared with other groups. This supports a general theory of correlates of intention to have any predictive genetic test.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Medicine