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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

The Psychosocial Needs of Women Undergoing Genetic Counseling and Testing in the Breast Cancer Context

by Susan T. Vadaparampil, PhD & Gwendolyn P. Quinn, PhD 2 CE Credits

Recent advances in molecular genetics have led to predictive genetic tests that can identify individuals at risk for certain hereditary cancers, such as the genetic mutations that have been identified for breast cancer (BRCA1/2, PALB2). BRCA1/2 mutation testing is one the most established and widely used of these predictive genetic tests. As the use of these tests moves into mainstream clinical practice, allied health professionals will have need to understand the clinical aspects of genetic counseling as well as the psychosocial needs of women considering and or under-going counseling and testing. This course provides an overview of the genetic counseling process, types of test results, risk management strategies, and psychosocial needs of women during the genetic counseling and testing process.
This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours and ASWB Clinical CE clock hours. NYSED CEs are NOT approved for this online course.

Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Key Elements of the BRCA1/2 Genetic Counseling and Testing Process
  • Test Results: Interpretations and Implications
  • Assessing the Psychosocial Needs of a Patient Considering Genetic Counseling and Testing for BRCA1/2
  • Assessment of Distress in Clinical Settings
  • Medical Risk Management Strategies for BRCA1/2 Mutation Carriers
  • The Psychosocial Impact of Medical Risk Management
  • Conclusion
  • Web-Based Resources
  • References


Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify known genetic mutations linked to risk for breast cancer (BRCA1/2) and emerging genetic risk factors (i.e., PALB2).
  • Describe four key elements of a pretest genetic counseling session, including distinguishing the difference between the four possible test outcomes: true positive, true negative, indeterminate and inconclusive results in genetic testing for BRCA1/2.
  • Apply two strategies for assessing the psychosocial needs of a patient considering genetic counseling and testing for BRCA1/2.
  • Discuss three risk management strategies for use among unaffected mutation carriers for BRCA1/2.