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Perceptions of Genetic Counseling from Adults with Bipolar Disorder

Perschke, Shelley Marie (2010) Perceptions of Genetic Counseling from Adults with Bipolar Disorder. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that affects about 1% of the population, representing a significant public health issue. Bipolar disorder can be associated with substance abuse problems, unemployment, increased marital dysfunction, and increased use of health services. Twin studies provide evidence that genetics plays a role in the etiology of bipolar disorder with heritability estimates as high as 93% in some studies. Molecular genetic studies were initially promising, but no genes with large effect sizes have been discovered. There is also evidence that suggests a multifactorial inheritance pattern. Consequently, genetic testing is not yet available. However, as advances are made in the understanding of genetics and psychiatric disorders, it is expected that the demand for genetic counseling for bipolar disorder will increase. Genetic counselors are well-equipped to educate patients and family members about the condition, to discuss their concerns about the risk of bipolar disorder, and to offer genetic testing should it become available. For this qualitative study, interviews were conducted to explore the opinions and perceptions of individuals with bipolar disorder and/or their siblings. The open-ended questions were designed to elicit the thoughts and attitudes about bipolar disorder and genetic counseling. Thematic analysis was performed on the transcripts from 10 interviews and the following themes were identified: excessive disease burden, variable causal attributions, desire for diagnostic test for BPD, and reproductive considerations.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Perschke, Shelley
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGettig, Elizabethbgettig@pitt.eduBGETTIG
Committee MemberJames,
Committee MemberTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberGrubs, Robin Ergrubs@pitt.eduRGRUBS
Date: 28 June 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 14 April 2010
Approval Date: 28 June 2010
Submission Date: 10 April 2010
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Genetic Counseling
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: bipolar disorder; genetic counseling
Other ID:, etd-04102010-160350
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:39


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