The facilitating role of information provided in genetic counseling for counselees' decisions

Shoshana Shiloh*, Liora Gerad, Boleslav Goldman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate genetic counselees' evaluations of the helpfulness of the information they receive in genetic counseling and of their difficulty in making decisions, and to determine correlates of these two outcomes. Methods: A field study on 108 counselees seeking genetic counseling aimed at arriving at a reproduction-related decision. Prior to counseling, questionnaires measuring individual differences in factors expected to correlate with outcomes were administered. The objective controllability of the information conveyed in counseling was evaluated by counselors. The outcomes - decision difficulty and information helpfulness - were evaluated one month after counseling in a telephone interview. Results: Information about consequences of options and about possible controlling actions were evaluated as most helpful; whether other information was helpful depended on the type of decision to be made. Decision difficulty was unrelated to counselees' evaluations of the helpfulness of the information. Decision difficulty was also unrelated to individual difference variables, but was related to the objective controllability of the information. Conclusion: These findings may help develop guidelines for identifying clients prior to counseling for whom making reproduction-related decisions will be difficult, and for tailoring information that will help such clients reach a decision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Decision-making
  • Genetic counseling
  • Information


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