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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

MS in Human Genetics

First Advisor

Janelle Villiers


Genetic testing and counseling for hereditary cancer have become more commonly offered due to improved management and expanded guidelines. To strive towards equity in the utilization of genetic testing, consideration should be given towards those patients from underrepresented groups and those of low socioeconomic status (SES). In this study, 28 underrepresented and low SES patients who underwent genetic counseling and declined genetic testing demonstrated their understanding and feelings towards testing and provided reasons for declining. When assessing both external and internal barriers to genetic testing it was determined that 45% of patients declined testing due to external barriers (cost, time, and privacy concerns), 30% of patients declined due to internal psychosocial barriers, and 15% declined due to a lack of perceived utility of testing. This study highlights that there are opportunities to build trust with patients and to remove some external barriers such as cost and time.