source: European journal of human genetics
Kirsten F. L. Douma, Neil K. Aaronson, Hans F. A. Vasen, Senno Verhoef, Eveline M. A. Bleiker, Chad M. Gundy
Childhood DNA testing, prenatal diagnosis (PND) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) are available for familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). However, the use of PND and PGD is controversial. The purpose of this study was to investigate attitudes toward, and experiences with, childhood DNA testing, PND and PGD among members of families at high risk for FAP. In this nationwide, cross-sectional study, questionnaires were sent to individuals from families at high risk for FAP assessing attitudes toward and experiences with childhood testing, PND and PGD, as well as several sociodemographic, clinical and psychosocial variables. Of the individuals from FAP families invited to participate in the study, 525 members participated (response rate=64%). Most parents who had children who were minors (n=93) (82%) were satisfied with the DNA testing procedure. One-third of all individuals wanted DNA testing for their children before age 12. Forty percent of FAP patients indicated that the disease influenced their desire to have children. Only 15% considered termination of pregnancy for FAP acceptable. Approximately 30% of individuals with a FAP diagnosis and their partners considered PND and PGD as acceptable for themselves. A positive attitude was associated with higher levels of guilt and a positive attitude toward termination of pregnancy. Importantly, of those with FAP at childbearing age, 84% had had no previous information at all about either PND or PGD. Future efforts should be aimed at educating FAP family members about reproductive options, allowing them to make an informed choice about family planning. Routine discussion of all reproductive options with a medical specialist should be encouraged.
The Netherlands Cancer Institute
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