Carrier testing of children for two X-linked diseases: a retrospective evaluation of experience and satisfaction of subjects and their mothers.

  • Järvinen O
  • Lehesjoki A
  • Lindlöf M
 et al. 
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Carrier testing of children for inherited disease that will not affect the health of the children themselves but of their future children is generally regarded as problematic. In this retrospective study, we determined how young women had experienced genetic carrier testing when they were children. The families of 66 young females who had been tested for carriership during childhood between 1984 and 1988, were approached. Of them, 23 young females in families affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and 23 young females in families affected by hemophilia A, and their mothers, participated in our study. We used a questionnaire including multiple-choice and open-ended questions. We recorded general attitudes to testing, satisfaction with testing, degree of trust in test results, making decisions regarding testing, privacy, and opinions about age at testing. Thirty-five out of 46 of the young women tested (76%) were satisfied with carrier testing in childhood. However, the young women in whom the test results had been uncertain were statistically more often unsatisfied with the testing than those who had been found or not found to be carriers (p = 0.002). In each group, the opinions of mothers were parallel to those of their daughters. Seventy-eight percent of daughters regarded carrier testing as a family matter in which parents can make a decision. About half of those tested recalled that they had been allowed to participate in decision-making in a satisfying way. Thirty-nine out of 46 (85%) of the young women tested, and 33/46 (72%) of the mothers, suggested that carrier testing should be performed in childhood or during teenage years.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genetic Testing: psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hemophilia A
  • Hemophilia A: genetics
  • Hemophilia B
  • Hemophilia B: genetics
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Muscular Dystrophies
  • Muscular Dystrophies: genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne: genetics
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Retrospective Studies

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  • O Järvinen

  • a E Lehesjoki

  • M Lindlöf

  • a Uutela

  • H Kääriäinen

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