Information Topics of Greatest Interest for Return of Genome Sequencing Results among Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at a Young Age

Joann Seo, Jennifer Ivanovich, Melody S. Goodman, Barbara B. Biesecker, Kimberly A. Kaphingst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We investigated what information women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age would want to learn when genome sequencing results are returned. We conducted 60 semi-structured interviews with women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 or younger. We examined what specific information participants would want to learn across result types and for each type of result, as well as how much information they would want. Genome sequencing was not offered to participants as part of the study. Two coders independently coded interview transcripts; analysis was conducted using NVivo10. Across result types, participants wanted to learn about health implications, risk and prevalence in quantitative terms, causes of variants, and causes of diseases. Participants wanted to learn actionable information for variants affecting risk of preventable or treatable disease, medication response, and carrier status. The amount of desired information differed for variants affecting risk of unpreventable or untreatable disease, with uncertain significance, and not health-related. Women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age recognize the value of genome sequencing results in identifying potential causes and effective treatments and expressed interest in using the information to help relatives and to further understand their other health risks. Our findings can inform the development of effective feedback strategies for genome sequencing that meet patients’ information needs and preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-521
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017



  • Breast cancer
  • Genome sequencing
  • Information needs
  • Patient preferences
  • Return of results

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)

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