Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: "It's good to know": Experiences of gene identification and result disclosure in familial epilepsies.
Austin Authors: Vears, Danya F;Dunn, Karen L;Wake, Samantha A;Scheffer, Ingrid E 
Affiliation: Epilepsy Research Centre, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
The Florey Neurosciences Institutes (Austin), Melbourne, Australia
Issue Date: 16-Feb-2015
Publication information: Epilepsy Research 2015; 112(): 64-71
Abstract: Recognition of the role of genetics in the epilepsies has increased dramatically, impacting on clinical practice across many epilepsy syndromes. There is limited research investigating the impact of gene identification on individuals and families with epilepsy. While research has focused on the impact of delivering genetic information to families at the time of diagnosis in genetic diseases more broadly, little is known about how genetic results in epileptic diseases influences people's lives many years after it has been conveyed. This study used qualitative methods to explore the experience of receiving a genetic result in people with familial epilepsy. Interviews were conducted with individuals with familial epilepsies in whom the underlying genetic mutation had been identified. Recorded interviews underwent thematic analysis. 20 individuals from three families with different epilepsy syndromes and causative genes were interviewed. Multiple generations within families were studied. The mean time from receiving the genetic result prior to interview was 10.9 years (range 5-14 years). Three major themes were identified: 1) living with epilepsy: an individual's experience of the severity of epilepsy in their family influenced their view. 2) Clinical utility of the test: participants expressed varying reactions to receiving a genetic result. While for some it provided helpful information and relief, others were not surprised by the finding given the familial context. Some valued the use of genetic information for reproductive decision-making, particularly in the setting of severely affected family members. While altruistic reasons for participating in genetic research were discussed, participants emphasised the benefit of participation to them and their families. 3) 'Talking about the family genes': individuals reported poor communication between family members about their epilepsy and its genetic implications. The results provide important insights into the family experience of genetic epilepsies and communication within families. This information can be used to inform the development of guidelines for genetic result disclosure and genetic counselling for individuals and families with epilepsies.
Gov't Doc #: 25847340
DOI: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2015.02.011
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Epilepsy
Genetic counselling
Genetic testing
Qualitative research
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

Show full item record

Google ScholarTM


Items in AHRO are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.