Personal Narratives of Genetic Testing: Expectations, Emotions, and Impact on Self and Family

Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics 5 (3):229-235 (2015)
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The stories in this volume shed light on the potential of narrative inquiry to fill gaps in knowledge, particularly given the mixed results of quantitative research on patient views of and experiences with genetic and genomic testing. Published studies investigate predictors of testing (particularly risk perceptions and worry); psychological and behavioral responses to testing; and potential impact on the health care system (e.g., when patients bring DTC genetic test results to their primary care provider). Interestingly, these themes did not dominate the narratives published in this issue. Rather, these narratives included consistent themes of expectations and looking for answers; complex emotions; areas of contradiction and conflict; and family impact. More narrative research on patient experiences with genetic testing may fill gaps in knowledge regarding how patients define the benefits of testing, changes in psychological and emotional reactions to test results over time, and the impact of testing on families.



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Author Profiles

Katie Wasson
University of Waikato
Ellie Anderson
Pomona College

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