Health Research and Policy

Research in Progress Seminar (RIP)

Date: April 24, 2013
Time: 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: CHP/PCOR Conference Room, 117 Encina Commons
Speakers: Tammi Lee English, PhD
Title: Psychological Consequences of Genetic Testing


Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, there has been a rise in the number of medical tests that offer individualized diagnostic and prognostic information. Biotechnology companies have also emerged that offer comprehensive genetic screening which provide clients with broad assessments of their relative risks of a range of diseases. There has been some concern over the impact that providing these risk assessments might have on the emotional state of the individual, as well as health-related behaviors and decision-making. Receiving personalized, high risk information may lead to increased anxiety which could interfere with processing of health-information, whereas receiving low risk information might discourage health promoting behavior. In this talk, I present results from a study where we examined the emotional and cognitive consequences of receiving risk estimates for various health conditions. Participants between the ages of 19 and 64 were presented with both population-based risk estimates and personalized, genetic-based risk estimates, and assessed again 1-month later. We tested whether there were changes in anxiety, information seeking, perceived risk, and health-related behavioral intentions. In addition, we examined whether risk level and age influence the consequences of receiving genetic-based risk estimates.

Please note: All research in progress seminars are off-the-record. Any information about methodology/press release and/or results are embargoed until publication.
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