Emotional impact on the results of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic test: An observational retrospective study

Sara Mella, Barbara Muzzatti, Riccardo Dolcetti, Maria Antonietta Annunziata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are associated with a higher risk of breast and ovarian tumors. This study evaluated the emotional states of women 1 month after having received the results of the genetic test and assessed eventual associations with the type of outcome, personal/familiar disease history and major socio-demographic variables. Methods: The study, an observational retrospective one, involved 91 women, evaluated 1 month after receiving their results. Patients were administered the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Profile of Mood States and emotional Thermometers. Results: Anxiety was significantly higher than depression (p < 0.001), and 21.3% and 21.3% of the sample were, respectively, possible and probable cases for anxiety, whereas 13.5% and 10.1% were possible and probable cases for depression. Within the six mood states, Confusion-Bewilderment (M = 48.5) was the lowest, whereas Fatigue-Inertia (M = 52.3) was the highest. Differences were recorded within the ten assessed emotions too. Being a proband/nonproband and being or not a cancer patient were associated with many tested variables. Conclusion: The psycho-emotional screening of women undertaking genetic counseling is relevant and should cover a large range of dimensions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Number of pages7
JournalHereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2 2017


  • BRCA1/2
  • Emotions
  • Genetic counseling
  • Mood states
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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