Adults' perceptions of genetic counseling and genetic testing

Julia Fisco Houfek, Brigette S. Soltis-Vaughan, Jan R. Atwood, Gwendolyn M. Reiser, G. Bradley Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study described the perceptions of genetic counseling and testing of adults (. N=. 116) attending a genetic education program. Understanding perceptions of genetic counseling, including the importance of counseling topics, will contribute to patient-focused care as clinical genetic applications for common, complex disorders evolve. Methods: Participants completed a survey addressing: the importance of genetic counseling topics, benefits and negative effects of genetic testing, and sharing test results. Results: Topics addressing practical information about genetic conditions were rated most important; topics involving conceptual genetic/genomic principles were rated least important. The most frequently identified benefit and negative effect of testing were prevention/early detection/treatment and psychological distress. Participants perceived that they were more likely to share test results with first-degree than other relatives. Conclusions: Findings suggest providing patients with practical information about genetic testing and genetic contributions to disease, while also determining whether their self-care abilities would be enhanced by teaching genetic/genomic principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015



  • Genetic knowledge
  • Genetic testing
  • Genetics
  • Patient education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Houfek, J. F., Soltis-Vaughan, B. S., Atwood, J. R., Reiser, G. M., & Schaefer, G. B. (2015). Adults' perceptions of genetic counseling and genetic testing. Applied Nursing Research, 28(1), 25-30.