How will we cope through this?! How testees and their support persons cope through genetic testing.

Ms Emma Ruddock (). How will we cope through this?! How testees and their support persons cope through genetic testing. Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Ms Emma Ruddock
Thesis Title How will we cope through this?! How testees and their support persons cope through genetic testing.
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Kenneth Pakenham
Total pages 342
Total black and white pages 342
Abstract/Summary A substantive body of research indicates that presymptomatic and predictive genetic tests are important undertakings (Burke, 2002; Gaivoronskaia & Solem, 2004; Hicken & Tucker, 2002); these tests themselves, however, can be potentially stressful experiences both for those taking them (Dinc & Terzioglu, 2006; Hughes, Lerman, Schwartz, Peshkin, Wenzel, Narod, Corio, Tercyak, Hanna, Isaacs, & Main, 2002; Pakenham, Goodwin, & MacMillan, 2004) and those assisting them with support (Dinc & Terzioglu, 2006; Kenen, Arden-Jones, & Eeles, 2004). While preliminary research has identified variability in the ways in which people respond to the stress of genetic testing (Meiser, 2005; Patenaude, 2005b), reviews of psychosocial genetic testing literature highlight several gaps requiring attention (Broadstock, Michie, & Marteau, 2000; Duisterhuf, Niermeijer, Trijsburg, Tibben, & Roos, 2001; Grosfeld, Lips, Beemer, & ten Kroode, 2000; Salkovskis & Rimes, 1997; Schlich-Bakker, Ten Kroode, & Ausems, 2006). The purpose of this research was to address these gaps in current literature by: applying a stress and coping model to genetic testing; employing a longitudinal study design across three critical time points in the genetic testing process (pre-test, post-results and follow-up); including negative and positive adjustment measures; sampling those undertaking testing for a range of genetic diseases; and, incorporating the experiences of both testees and support persons. Two studies form the nexus of this thesis. Study 1 explored the experience of testees while Study 2 explored the experience of support persons. Sixty-five testees and support persons (42 testees and 23 support persons) participated in the research. Participants completed questionnaires at three crucial time points throughout the genetic testing process. In general, results provided support for the utility of the stress and coping model in explaining the adjustment of those undergoing a genetic test and that of their support persons. Results are discussed with consideration of the unique contributions of this research, and then in terms of limitations and implications for future research and clinical practice.
Keyword genetic testing
stress and coping

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Created: Sun, 14 Feb 2010, 20:34:43 EST by Ms Emma Ruddock