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ANTONIO RUSSO

THE ROLE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS IN ONCOGENETIC COUNSELLING

  • Autori: Foddai, E.; Guadagna, F.; Manna, G.; Pace, F.; De Luca, R.; Russo, A.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2010
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/76897

Abstract

Background: As result of the recent developments in DNA testing and the knowledge that cancer can be hereditary, it is now possible to offer genetic counselling to people within identified “cancer families”, and to inform them about their assumed increased risk for developing cancer. The aim of this study was to test the role of psychological aspect in oncogenetic counselling. The primary purpose of the research was to evaluate the difference between Anxiety Trait and Anxiety State in subjects going to oncogenetic counselling. The secondary aim was to explore the relationships between alexithymia, personality trait, coping style, psychological distress, in subjects attending genetic counselling for hereditary cancer. Methods: The questionnaires administered were: semi-structured interview, STAI, COPE, BFA, TAS 20, MHQ. In the first study, the group consisted of 65 subjects (56 females and 9 males; M = 42.3 years), while in the second study, they were 30 subjects (M = 40.4 years) completing the entire test battery of the oncogenetic counselling. Results: The results showed a weak but significant differences between Trait Anxiety and State Anxiety (t = 2.23; p < 0.05). It seems that for some subjects the particular conditions or oncogenetic counseling could cause more levels of anxiety. We think that the level of anxiety could diminish as result of a prolonged psychological support intervention, as suggested by the results of this research. With regard to the TAS 20, the results showed that 48.2% of subjects suffering from oncologic pathology obtained score ranging from 50 (borderline level) to greater than 60 (cut-off for Alexithymia). Conclusions: Our results indicate that the tendency to repress one’s emotions is associated to some general schemes of reaction to stress which, when used in a dysfunctional manner (such as the attempt to ignore how threatening an event), are maladaptive in the end.