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Type: Journal article
Title: Risky communication: Pitfalls in counseling about risk, and how to avoid them
Author: O'Doherty, K.
Suthers, G.
Citation: Journal of Genetic Counseling, 2007; 16(4):409-417
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 1059-7700
Statement of
K. O’Doherty and G. K. Suthers
Abstract: A genetic counselor is often faced with the difficult task of conveying a set of complex and highly abstract factors associated with the client's risk of developing a familial disorder. The client is faced with the even more difficult task of making significant health-related decisions about an event which may or may not eventuate. Although there is a large corpus of research on this topic, much of the knowledge on risk communication is difficult to apply in a practical context. In this paper we draw together some insights on risk communication and decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, and apply them directly to the problem of communicating familial cancer risk. In particular, we focus on the distinction between individual risk and observed frequencies of adverse events, various framing effects, and contextualizing risk communication. We draw attention to some of the potential pitfalls in counseling about risk and offer avenues for circumventing them.
Keywords: genetic counseling
familial cancer
risk communication
Description: The original publication can be found at
DOI: 10.1007/s10897-006-9077-9
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 6
Paediatrics publications

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