Counseling Makes Patients Feel They Have More Control Over Their Fate

According to a research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014, adults who were counseled on their genetic risk of coronary heart disease believed that they now have more control over their fate.

Researchers examined the impact of disclosing risk of 10-year heart disease with or without genetic risk information to 207 patients (48 percent male, average age of participants is 58) participating in Myocardial Infarction GENES (MI-GENES), a randomized control study. The main purpose of this study was to understand how genetic information might improve assessment of heart attack risk.

The key elements of this study included a risk score based on established risk factors and a genetic risk score based on 28 single nucleotide polymorphisms; risk disclosure by a genetic counselor in a thirty minute session; and two questionnaires about patient satisfaction – perceived personal control and genetic counseling satisfaction.

Based on the results of the said study, researches found that those patients who have went through the study and received the genetic risk information had a higher perceived personal control value compared to those who did not (8.85 versus 8.54). It was also found out that patients who received genetic risk information also reported a higher genetic counseling satisfaction (9.08 versus 8.3).

The lead author of the study, Mr. Christopher L. Robinson, said that the disclosure of genetic risk led to increased perceived personal control and counseling satisfaction, which are associated with the increased likelihood of adopting healthier behaviors that may reduce coronary heart disease risk.

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