Evaluation of phone-based genetic counselling in African American women using culturally tailored visual aids.
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Genetic counselling (GC) services for inherited breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) are underutilized by African American (AA) women. We sought to evaluate factors associated with knowledge gain in a sample of AA women diagnosed with early-onset breast cancer, in whom GC for HBOC was provided, using a culturally targeted genetic counselling aid (GCA). Through a cancer registry-based study, phone-based GC for HBOC was offered to AA women with breast cancer < or =50. A questionnaire to assess knowledge about HBOC was completed prior to GC. All women were provided a GCA about HBOC developed by the investigative team for use during the GC session. Following GC, a personalized summary letter was mailed to all study participants and the same knowledge questionnaire was completed. A total of 37 study participants completed the pre- and post-GC knowledge questionnaires with significant gains in knowledge following the GC process (p < 0.0001). Statistically significant factors associated with knowledge gain included earlier stage of diagnosis of breast cancer and education level. Our results indicate that phone-based GC supplemented by a culturally targeted visual aid is an effective means of improving knowledge about HBOC in young AA women with invasive breast cancer.