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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


ZAGALO-CARDOSO, José A.  and  ROLIM, Luísa. Psychosocial Aspects of Predictive Medicine: A Review of Literature about Genetic Risk Tests. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2005, vol.6, n.1, pp.3-34. ISSN 1645-0086.

This paper aims to review and reflect about psychosocial issues concerning genetic tests, in the context of the new medical paradigm of Predictive Medicine and the emerging perspective of Psychosocial Genetics. Psychosocial implications underlying the practice of genetic tests for late onset diseases require a special attention and a systematic multidisciplinary approach, including psychosocial evaluation and intervention, in order to minimize the emotional impact of pre-symptomatic diagnosis. We pay a very special attention to early pre-symptomatic diagnosis of three neurogenetic conditions - familial amyloid polineuropathy, Huntington disease and Machado-Joseph disease - and to the diagnosis of genetic susceptibility to hereditary cancers. Based on a review of literature about behavioral investigation, we identify some predictors of decision-making and of adherence to genetic tests, as well as the psychological implications of the results of these tests. We emphasize emerging themes and focus on some developing investigation guidelines.

Keywords : Adherence; Diagnosis of genetic susceptibility; Hereditary cancers; Neurogenetic diseases; Pre-symptomatic diagnosis; Predictive Medicine; Psychologic impact; Psychosocial Genetics.

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