Lay understanding of genetic disease: a British study of families attending a genetic counseling service


Chapple, Alison, May, Carl and Campion, Peter (1995) Lay understanding of genetic disease: a British study of families attending a genetic counseling service. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 4, (4), 281-300. (doi:10.1007/BF01408074).

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Description/Abstract

Although lay people know that various diseases can be inherited, the idea that unhealthy life styles are the crucial cause of ill health has been promoted by health education policy in the United Kingdom. However, a new paradigm seems to be developing. The medical profession is increasingly using genetics to explain ill health, and people are being referred to geneticists for information and counseling. Lay conceptions of genetic disease emerged during this qualitative study of the process of genetic counseling. The results reported in this paper suggest that many lay people lack knowledge of genetics and inheritance, and that there is considerable stigma attached to genetic disease. Misconceptions and fears may not always be recognized or resolved during the process of genetic counseling. The implications of such misunderstandings and beliefs are considered in this paper.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1059-7700 (print)
1573-3599 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Keywords: lay understanding, genetic counseling, stigma
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 163365
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2010 15:05
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 19:17
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/163365

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