Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Estimates Do Not Have Differing Effects on Risk Perception in Cancer Genetic Counseling

This study explores the impact of the type of genetic risk estimate (qualitative or quantitative) given in hereditary breast cancer counseling on risk perception, intention to test, and satisfaction with the genetic counseling session. These measures were assessed in 91 patients who completed pre- and post-counseling questionnaires. Participants randomly received either a qualitative or quantitative estimate of their chance for carrying a gene mutation. The type of estimate given was compared with each of the outcome measures and analyzed for statistical significance. The type of estimate provided was not significantly associated with any of the outcomes measured in this study. Risk perception became more accurate after genetic counseling, although this perception was more strongly correlated with a participant's pre-counseling risk perception than with the actual risk given during the counseling session. Qualitative and quantitative estimates do not appear to have an impact on risk perception, intention to test, or satisfaction.

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