CD Increases Knowledge, Comfort With Genetic Testing

Study suggests CD may facilitate informed consent in patients at high risk of cancer
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A CD-based educational aid can increase knowledge of and comfort with genetic testing in patients at high risk of developing cancer, and may facilitate informed consent, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Sharon L. Manne, Ph.D., from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomly assigned 213 patients with colorectal cancer and suspected Lynch syndrome meeting the revised Bethesda criteria to a brief educational session about microsatellite instability (MSI) and immunohistochemistry testing with a health educator alone or plus a CD-ROM.

The researchers found that the addition of the CD-ROM increased the level of knowledge about both tests, made patients feel better prepared to make a decision about testing, and was associated with less decisional conflict. Previous exposure to MSI testing, family support for MSI testing, or the family history of cancer did not affect most outcomes.

"This study demonstrates that high-risk patients with colorectal cancer can benefit from a computer-based multimedia intervention," Manne and colleagues conclude. "With some groups now recommending expanded MSI testing for all colorectal cancer patients and women diagnosed with endometrial cancer, effective and easy-to-use methods of education about the purpose and utility of this test are necessary."

Two authors reported financial, advisory, or consulting relationships with Saladax and Myriad Labs.

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