Title

Identifying mental health services in clinical genetic settings

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the mental health needs of individuals at risk for adult onset hereditary disorder (AOHD) from the perspective of their genetic service providers, as it is unknown to what extent psychosocial services are required and being met. A mail-out survey was sent to 281 providers on the membership lists of the Canadian Association of Genetic Counsellors and the Canadian College of Medical Geneticists. The survey assessed psychosocial issues that were most commonly observed by geneticists, genetic counsellors (GCs), and nurses as well as availability and types of psychosocial services offered. Of the 129 respondents, half of genetic service providers reported observing signs of depression and anxiety, while 44% noted patients' concerns regarding relationships with family and friends. In terms of providing counselling to patients, as the level of psychological risk increased, confidence in dealing with these issues decreased. In addition, significantly more GCs reported that further training in psychosocial issues would be most beneficial to them if resources were available. As a feature of patient care, it is recommended that gene-based predictive testing include an integrative model of psychosocial services as well as training for genetic service providers in specific areas of AOHD mental health.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

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