What Would You Say? Genetic Counseling Graduate Students’ and Counselors’ Hypothetical Responses to Patient Requested Self-Disclosure
- 751 Downloads
Genetic counselor self-disclosure is a complex behavior that lacks extensive characterization. In particular, data are limited about genetic counselors’ responses when patients ask them to self-disclose. Accordingly, this study investigated genetic counseling students’ (n = 114) and practicing genetic counselors’ (n = 123) responses to two hypothetical scenarios in which a female prenatal patient requests self-disclosure. Scenarios were identical except for a final patient question: “Have you ever had an amniocentesis?” or “What would you do if you were me?” Imagining themselves as the counselor, participants wrote a response for each scenario and then explained their response. Differences in disclosure frequency for students vs. counselors and disclosure question were assessed, and themes in participant responses and explanations were extracted via content and thematic analysis methods. Chi-square analyses indicated no significant differences in frequency of student versus counselor disclosure. Self-disclosure was significantly higher for, “Have you ever had an amniocentesis?” (78.5 %) than for, “What would you do if you were me?” (53.2 %) (p < .001). Types of self-disclosures included personal, professional, and mixed disclosures. Prevalent explanations for disclosure and non-disclosure responses included: remain patient focused and support/empower the patient. Additional findings, practice and training implications, and research recommendations are presented.
KeywordsPrenatal genetic counseling Disclosure Psychosocial Counselor self-disclosure Counselor experience level
This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the first author’s requirements for her doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota. We thank the participants for their valuable time and input.
- Balcom, J., McCarthy Veach, P., Redlinger-Grosse, K., Bemmels, H., & LeRoy, B. (2012). When the topic is you: Genetic counselor responses to prenatal patients’ requests for self-disclosure. Journal of Genetic Counseling. doi: 10.1007/s10897-012-9554-2.
- Djurdjinovic, L. (1998). Psychosocial counseling. In D. L. Baker, J. L. Schuette, & W. R. Uhlmann (Eds.), A guide to genetic counseling (pp. 127–170). New York: Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
- McCarthy Veach, P., LeRoy, B., & Bartels, D. (2003). Facilitating the genetic counseling process: A practice manual. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- National Society of Genetic Counselor. (2012). 2012 Professional Status Survey. Retrieved from http://nsgc.org/
- Paine, A., McCarthy Veach, P., MacFarlane, I. M., Thomas, B., Ahrens, M., & LeRoy, B. (2010). “What would you do if you were me?” Effects of counselor self-disclosure versus non-disclosure in a hypothetical genetic counseling session. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 19, 570–584.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Silverman. (1993). Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analyzing talk, text and interaction. London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Weil, J. (2000). Psychosocial genetic counseling. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar