Date of Graduation

5-2014

Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Genetic Counseling

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Andrea Harbison

Committee Member

Sarah Noblin

Committee Member

Jennifer Lemons

Committee Member

Susan K. Peterson

Committee Member

Carlos Carreno

Abstract

The traditional genetic counseling model reflects an individualized counseling session that includes the presentation of information about genes, chromosomes, personalized risk assessment, and genetic testing and screening options. Counselors are challenged to balance providing educational information with discussion of implications of this information in an allotted amount of time. The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions of pregnant Latinas on the benefits and limitations of the traditional prenatal genetic counseling model and to determine the specific preferences for receiving prenatal genetic counseling. Data were collected through focus groups and one-on-one, semi-structured interviews of twenty-five Spanish speaking Latinas who received genetic counseling during their current pregnancy. Their responses were evaluated using thematic analysis to identify major themes in participant responses by utilizing a grounded theory approach. Several themes were identified including an overall satisfaction with their prenatal genetic counseling appointment, desire for a healthy baby, peace of mind following their appointment, no desire for invasive testing, and faith in God. Several participants also stated a preference for group genetic counseling over the traditional individual genetic counseling model. Our data indicate that Latinas value the information presented at prenatal genetic counseling appointments despite disinterest in pursuing genetic testing or screening and suggest that group prenatal genetic counseling may be an effective alternative to the traditional genetic counseling model in the Latina population.

Keywords

prenatal genetic counseling, traditional model, group model, Latinas