Date of Award

Summer 8-2019

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Advisor(s)

SALLY VERNON, PHD

Second Advisor

SHERYL MCCURDY, PHD

Abstract

National guidelines recommend cascade genetic testing (CGT) for blood relatives after a cancer predisposition gene mutation is identified in an individual. Despite recommendations for CGT, only 30-60% of first-degree relatives (FDRs) complete CGT. The proportion of untested relatives who are planning to have CGT is unknown. We used the Transtheoretical Model to assess the readiness (stage of change) for CGT among living, untested FDRs at-risk for a hereditary predisposition to cancer. An anonymous, online survey was open to U.S. adults with an autosomal dominant, adult-onset, hereditary predisposition to cancer. Participants reported demographic information, their genetic testing information, and information on FDRs (the number of each relative, vital status, uptake of CGT, and readiness for CGT among those alive and untested). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, non-parametric McNemar, Friedman, Wilcoxon Signed Rank, Kruskal-Wallis, and Mann-Whitney tests. A two-sided p-value of 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

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