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Main Title: What Causes Cancer in Women with a gBRCA Pathogenic Variant? Counselees’ Causal Attributions and Associations with Perceived Control
Author(s): Kendel, Friederike
Klein, Katharina
Schüürhuis, Stephen
Besch, Laura
Feufel, Markus A.
Speiser, Dorothee
Type: Article
Abstract: Laypersons have a strong need to explain critical life events, such as the development of an illness. Expert explanations do not always match the beliefs of patients. We therefore assessed causal attributions made by women with a pathogenic germline variant in BRCA1/2 (gBRCA1/2-PV), both with and without a cancer diagnosis. We assumed that attributions would be associated with the control experience. We conducted a cross-sectional study of N = 101 women with a gBRCA1/2-PV (mean age 43.3 ± 10.9). Women answered self-report questionnaires on perceived causes and control. Most women (97%) named genes as a causal factor for the development of cancer. Surprisingly, the majority of women also named stress and health behavior (both 81%), environment (80%), and personality (61%). Women with a cancer diagnosis tended to endorse more causes. The attributions to personality (ρ = 0.39, p < 0.01) health behavior (ρ = 0.44, p < 0.01), and environment (ρ = 0.22, p < 0.05) were significantly associated with personal control, whereas attribution to genes showed a small, albeit significant association with treatment control (ρ = 0.20, p < 0.05). Discussing causal beliefs in clinical counseling may provide a “window of opportunity” in which risk factors and health behaviors could be better addressed and individually targeted.
Subject(s): hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
causal attributions
personal control
genetic counseling
Issue Date: 6-Aug-2022
Date Available: 19-Sep-2022
Language Code: en
DDC Class: 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Journal Title: Genes
Publisher: MDPI
Volume: 13
Issue: 8
Article Number: 1399
Publisher DOI: 10.3390/genes13081399
EISSN: 2073-4425
TU Affiliation(s): Fak. 5 Verkehrs- und Maschinensysteme » Inst. Psychologie und Arbeitswissenschaft » FG Arbeitswissenschaft
Appears in Collections:Technische Universität Berlin » Publications

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