While prior studies have largely focused on family communication of diagnostic single-gene test results or specific types of cancer testing results, far less work has investigated family communication of cancer-related genetic results that include multi-gene panels, a broad array of cancer types/stages, and participants without family history of cancer. The study we report here examined individuals’ anticipated barriers and benefits to sharing genetic information with family members. An 80+ gene panel was performed on participants recruited from Mayo Clinic, diagnosed with different cancer types, who did not have a family history suggestive of an inherited risk. Participants completed a 49-item survey before receiving genetic test results. Family variant testing was provided to family members at no cost, allowing factors influencing intent to share to be examined in the absence of financial burdens. In all, 1721 of 2984 individuals who received genetic testing completed the survey (57.7% completion rate). Participants’ intent to share with parents, siblings, and children was inversely related to the number of anticipated barriers to sharing and directly related to the number of anticipated benefits to sharing. Of those participants who did not intend to share with parents, siblings, and adult children, 64.8%, 30.3%, and 67.6% reported that there were no barriers, while 17.1%, 24.5%, and 40.2.% reported there were no benefits. Findings indicate that barriers to sharing genetic information with family members vary across family member types, and an inability to identify at least one benefit of sharing with family members is a predictor of intent not to share.
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