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Factors influencing the decision to learn 5-HTT genotype results and subsequent impact on the individual

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 June 2014

Kay Wilhelm
Affiliation:
School of Psychiatry, University of NSW and Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia
Bettina Meiser
Affiliation:
School of Psychiatry, University of NSW and Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia
Philip Mitchell
Affiliation:
School of Psychiatry, University of NSW and Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia
Jennifer Siegel
Affiliation:
School of Psychiatry, University of NSW and Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia
Tara Showyin
Affiliation:
School of Psychiatry, University of NSW and Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia
Gordon Parker
Affiliation:
School of Psychiatry, University of NSW and Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia
Peter R Schofield
Affiliation:
School of Psychiatry, University of NSW and Black Dog Institute, Sydney, Australia
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Abstract

Type
Abstracts from ‘Brainwaves’— The Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research Annual Meeting 2006, 6–8 December, Sydney, Australia
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Blackwell Munksgaard

Background:

We reported an association between the 5-HTT gene and onset of MDD following exposure to adverse life events in a longitudinal cohort of postgraduate teacher trainees (Wilhelm et al. 2006). Many cohort members expressed interest in learning of their genotype results. With permission from the UNSW HREC, cohort members were given the opportunity to learn of their results and we investigated the reasons members did or did not want to know their results and how they received the knowledge.

Method:

The 128 members who had genetic testing were sent measures prior to receiving their results covering: attitudes, perceived benefits and limitations to genetic testing; causal attributions to and perceived risk of depression onset; information needs and positive and negative affect. Follow up questionnaires were conducted at 2-week and 3-month follow up.

Results and Conclusions:

Of the 116 responding members, 82 (71%) indicated that they wanted their results, 22 (19%) declined but agreed to complete the follow up questionnaires and 12 did not wish to participate. More members expected to have the s/s genotype than was the case. There were no differences in rates of lifetime MDD diagnosis, but receivers had a later onset, fewer episodes, higher mean neuroticism scores and there was a trend towards more family MD history. All were glad to have received their genetic results and the perceived risk to depression fell across all genotype groups, with the greatest reduction for those with the s/s genotype. Implications for research and the general community will be discussed.