Journal of Genetic Counseling

, 18:567 | Cite as

Perceptions of the Concept of Mutation among Family Members of Patients Receiving Outpatient Genetic Services and University Students

  • Noriko Ando
  • Yumi Iwamitsu
  • Kazuhisa Takemura
  • Yukiko Saito
  • Fumio Takada
Original Research


Our objectives were to investigate: (1) relationships between perceptions of various terms regarding mutation and the depth of knowledge regarding mutation among family members of patients receiving genetic outpatient services, and (2) differences in perceptions of the term “gene mutation” for family members versus university students. Fifty-eight family members and 178 university students responded to two questionnaires: Impressions regarding the term, and Knowledge about the concept of mutation. Factor analyses were conducted to determine the factor structure of ratings of the terms, and two-way analyses of variance [(1)Term, (2)Group × Knowledge] were conducted to examine differences in perceptions of the terms as measured by scores for each extracted factor. Family members had a significantly more negative perception of the term “gene mutation” than “gene change” and a less negative perception of the term “gene mutation” than “gene lesion”; they had significantly more negative perceptions of the term “gene mutation” than did university students.


Genetic counseling Mutation Knowledge Health communication 



The authors would like to thank to Dr. Celeste M. Condit for permitting us to use her questionnaire in this study. Also, we owe our special thanks to the contributions of the participants in this study. This work was supported by a Grant-in Aid from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellows (No.19-8686).

Conflicts of interest notification

The authors have no commercial association or conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noriko Ando
    • 1
    • 5
  • Yumi Iwamitsu
    • 1
  • Kazuhisa Takemura
    • 2
  • Yukiko Saito
    • 3
  • Fumio Takada
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Medical Psychology, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKitasato UniversityKanagawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Medical Humanities, Research and Development Center for Medical EducationKitasato University School of MedicineKanagawaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Medical Genetics, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKitasato UniversityKanagawaJapan
  5. 5.KanagawaJapan

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