Short-term psychological impact of predictive testing for Machado-Joseph disease: Depression and anxiety levels in individuals at risk from the Azores (Portugal)

Carlos Gonzalez, Manuela Lima*, Teresa Kay, Catarina Silva, Cristina Santos, Jorge Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The short-term impact of the pre-symptomatic genetic test (PT) for Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) in the Azores (Portuguese Islands) was assessed in 46 individuals at risk who completed the PT Program. Methods: Scores for depression and anxiety were used as indicators of the subjects' emotional status immediately before the PT and 1 year after disclosure of the results. Results: Global levels of participation in the Azorean PT Program for MJD were high (20.7%), particularly in Flores Island (35.8%). For the total sample, mean scores of depression and anxiety before and after the PT presented without clinical significance. No differences were found for depression and anxiety scores before and after the PT. Furthermore, when grouped by test results (carriers/non-carriers), there were no differences between pre- and post-test levels. Conclusions: Results indicate that the test result did not cause a decrease in the psychological well-being of the individuals tested. The high number of participants performing the PT in the small and isolated community of Flores Island, where MJD represents a source of stigma, was interpreted as an indication that in this particular population the PT offers the individuals at risk the possibility of liberating from a stigma, and, hence, from exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-201
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Genetics
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Azores
  • Depression
  • Genetic counseling
  • Individuals at risk
  • Machado-Joseph disease
  • Predictive testing
  • Stigmatization

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Short-term psychological impact of predictive testing for Machado-Joseph disease: Depression and anxiety levels in individuals at risk from the Azores (Portugal)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this