Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Genetic Counseling

First Advisor

Victoria Vincent

Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to explore patient interest in and comfort with discussing a personal and/or family history of mental illness with a genetic counselor during a prenatal genetic counseling session. Methods: Participants included pregnant women who met with a genetic counselor for routine prenatal screening/testing counseling at Palmetto Health USC Medical Group Department of OB/GYN. Following their appointment, they were given a copy of the invitation to participate, questionnaire, and mental health resource page by the genetic counselor who performed their genetic counseling. Results: Forty participants completed questionnaires. 70% of participants indicated some level of interest in discussing mental illness with a genetic counselor. There was no significant difference in level of interest in discussing mental illness with a genetic counselor between those who did and did not have a personal or family history of mental illness (p=.220). Similarly, there was no significant difference in Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale score between those who were interested and those who were not interested in discussing mental illness with a genetic counselor (p = 0.14). Of the participants who were directly asked by the genetic counselor about a personal and/or family history of mental illness, 90% reported some level of comfort with being asked. Of the participants who were not directly asked, 90% reported they would have felt comfortable if asked about a personal and/or family history of mental illness No participants indicated they would feel very uncomfortable to be asked about or to discuss mental illness in their prenatal genetic counseling session. Conclusion: These results suggest that patients are interested in and comfortable with discussing a personal and/or family history of mental illness with a genetic counselor during prenatal genetic counseling. Overall, participants were as interested in discussing mental illness as they were about chromosome conditions, single gene conditions, and isolated birth defects. Prenatal genetic counselors should routinely ask about mental illness while taking the family history and be prepared to discuss information regarding the genetic components of mental illness

Share

COinS