Assessing patient attitudes toward genetic testing for hereditary hematologic malignancy

Addison Q. Johnson, Sarah A. Bannon, Laura S. Farach, Samuel M. Hyde, S. Shahrukh Hashmi, Chelsea Wagner, Courtney D. DiNardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 2003, more than 15 genes have been identified to predispose to hereditary hematologic malignancy (HHM). Although the yield of germline analysis for leukemia appears like that of solid tumors, genetic referrals in adults with leukemia remain underperformed. We assessed leukemia patients' attitudes toward genetic testing and leukemia-related distress through a survey of 1093 patients diagnosed with acute or chronic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, or aplastic anemia. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to analyze patient attitudes. Distress was measured through the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Exactly 19.8% of eligible respondents completed the survey. The majority reported interest in (77%) or choosing to have (78%) genetic testing for HHM. Slightly over half identified worry about cost of genetic testing (58%) or health insurance coverage (61%) as possible barriers. PCA identified relevant themes of interest in genetic testing, impact on leukemia treatment, discrimination and confidentiality, psychosocial and familial impacts, and cost of testing. The majority reported low distress. Leukemia patients report high interest in genetic testing, few barriers, and relatively low distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • attitudes
  • distress
  • genetic counseling
  • genetic testing
  • hematologic malignancy
  • leukemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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