The role of financial factors in acceptance of clinical BRCA genetic testing

Shannon Kieran, Lois J. Loescher, Kyung Hee Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Many women who are offered BRCA genetic testing by genetics professionals do not have the test, possibly for financial reasons. We explored financial factors implicated in non-uptake of BRCA testing in women who had received genetic counseling in a clinical setting. Specifically, we described financial factors (affordability, health insurance, other) involved with BRCA testing; compared nonfinancial factors (disease, sociodemographic, risk assessment) in women who did not have BRCA testing (nontesters) with women who had the test (testers); showed associations of financial and nonfinancial factors with BRCA testing; and identified predictors of non-uptake of BRCA testing. The sample of 100 women (64 nontesters and 36 testers) completed an anonymous mailed survey on financial factors; 52 of the nontesters answered questions about nonfinancial factors. Testers had significantly better affordability and insurance coverage (p < 0.001), more diagnoses of breast or ovarian cancer (p < 0.05) and higher rates of receiving post-counseling risk estimates (p < 0.05), than nontesters. Non-uptake was 5.5-fold more likely in women that could not afford full or partial payment for the test and was 15.5-fold more likely in women that did not recall receiving risk estimates post-counseling. For many women having risk factors for breast/ovarian cancer, affordability of BRCA testing and insurance coverage for the test remain problematic. Post-counseling reminders of risk estimates may contribute to uptake of testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalGenetic Testing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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