Anticipating response to predictive genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease: a survey of first-degree relatives

TitleAnticipating response to predictive genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease: a survey of first-degree relatives
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsRoberts, J. S.
JournalThe gerontologist
Volume40
Issue1
Pagination43-52
Date Published2000 Feb
ISSN0016-9013
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Attitude to Health, Female, Genetic Counseling, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Male, Middle Aged
Abstract

Two hundred and three children and siblings of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) (age range: 30-92 years, 75% female) were surveyed regarding potential predictive testing options for the disorder. A mailed questionnaire posed various hypothetical scenarios and assessed the following variables: interest in testing, perceptions of its pros and cons, and psychological and demographic predictors of test intentions. In 5 of 6 scenarios, a majority of participants expressed intentions to pursue testing, with perceived pros outweighing cons. The most important reasons for seeking testing were informing later-life decisions and planning future AD care. Predictors of test intentions were male gender, information-seeking style, higher perceived AD threat, and appraisal of test pros versus cons. Situational factors such as available treatment options and certainty of test information also affected responses. Results suggest a positive view of predictive testing, with its limitations and risks underrated. Study findings may inform AD genetic counseling and health education efforts.

Alternate JournalGerontologist