Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Human Genetics

First Advisor

Laura Hercher


Research shows that psychiatric genetic counseling (pGC) improves outcomes for patients. We conducted a retrospective chart review study to examine the relationship between outcomes of pGC and time since onset and/or diagnosis of psychiatric illness at a specialist pGC clinic. Specifically, we examined change in empowerment scores (as measured by the Genetic Counseling Outcome Scale (GCOS) prior to (T1) and approximately one month after the pGC appointment (T2)), in relationship to: a) time since symptom onset (TSO) and b) time since psychiatric diagnosis (TSD). Linear regression was used to determine the relationship between TSO and/or TSD and GCOS change, and paired sample T-test was conducted to assess the changes in pre-and post-pGC scores. Charts for 271 patients with personal histories of schizophrenia, schizoaffective, bipolar, depression, obsessive compulsive and eating disorders were included in the study. There was no relationship between TSD and GCOS change (p=0.234, R2=0.015). A weak negative relationship was observed overall between TSO and GCOS change (p=0.032, R2=0.019). When the data were examined by psychiatric diagnosis, this result was significant only for depression (p=0.013, R2=0.037), which was also a weak relationship. Overall, empowerment improved after pGC regardless of TSO/TSD (p