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Research project: How can discussions with relatives be facilitated following predictive genetic testing for BRCA1/2? - Dormant - Dormant

Currently Active: 

This research aims to facilitate discussions about genetic risk associated with BRCA1/2 with relatives to enable relatives to make informed decisions about their own risk management.  

Men and women can carry BRCA1/2 genetic mutations that increase the risk of women developing breast/ovarian cancer. Females can manage this risk by engaging in risk reducing strategies or regular surveillance 1-3. Individuals tested inform relatives about genetic risk as health professionals can not without written consent. If relatives are not told about genetic risk they may not engage in risk management.

Awareness of genetic risk may help reduce mortality from cancer. Most, but not all, BRCA1/2 carriers have reported telling relatives about their test result, however difficulties doing this have been reported 4-5 . We do not know what information is passed on to relatives. It is essential to determine how to facilitate the communication process so that relatives can make informed decisions about managing risk.

Main question(s) 

This will be achieved by:

  • Exploring discussions within the family following predictive genetic testing for BRCA1/2.
  • Identifying difficulties with the process of discussing risk information with relatives.
  • Developing an intervention, based on the evidence gathered, designed to support individuals tested for BRCA1/2 mutations and facilitate discussions with relatives.


Phase I : Interview with BRCA1/2 carriers in the 12 months following predictive genetic testing for BRCA1/2 about experiences of talking to relatives. Phase II : Development of an intervention to support discussions of genetic risk with relatives following BRCA1/2 testing. The feasibility of the intervention will be assessed.

Project team

Internal: Claire Foster, Julia Addington-Hall
External: Anneke Lucassen

Project funder

Cancer Research UK studentship

Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes
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