Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS Human Genetics


Human Genetics Graduate Program


Though understanding how different characteristics of the patient and session influence outcomes of genetic counseling (GC) is important, little research data currently exits on this topic. We conducted a retrospective review of charts from patients who attended a specialist psychiatric GC clinic between February 1, 2012 and January 31, 2017. We extracted data to explore the effects of patient and sessionrelated variables on Genetic Counseling Outcome Scale scores (GCOS, validated instrument that measures empowerment). We used ANOVA to analyze the pre-, to one-month post-GC change in GCOS scores in relation to eleven variables. 307 charts were included in analysis. Overall, GCOS scores significantly increased after GC (p<0.0005). No significant differences in GCOS change scores were identified with respect to: sex, ethnicity, diagnosis, mode of referral, type of appointment, genetic counseling student involvement, presence of observers or personal/family history of mental illness. Significant relationships were found between GCOS change scores and mode of delivery of GC (p=0.048, h2 = 0.020) and primary indication for the appointment (understanding recurrence risk versus other, p=0.001, h2 = 0.037). This exploratory study provides the first data on how a number of characteristics of the patient and session influence outcomes of genetic counseling. Understanding the patient and session-related factors that do seem to influence outcomes may allow for adjustment of service delivery strategies to promote the best possible outcomes.

Included in

Genetics Commons