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Improving Knowledge, Evaluating Opinions, and Ascertaining the Acceptance of Genetic Counseling for Bipolar Disorder.

James, Emily M. (2007) Improving Knowledge, Evaluating Opinions, and Ascertaining the Acceptance of Genetic Counseling for Bipolar Disorder. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Bipolar disorder (BPD) is a serious mood disorder that affects about 1% of the population of the United States. Twin, family, and adoption studies have shown evidence for a genetic component of BPD, but monozygotic twin concordance is less than one, indicating that BPD is a mulitfactorial disorder. First-degree relatives of an individual with BPD have approximately a 3-15% risk of developing BPD because of shared genes and environment. No strong genetic susceptibility loci for BPD have been located, although some regions of interest are currently being evaluated. With increasing genetic information, it is expected that demand for genetic counseling for BPD and other psychiatric disorders will increase. This project is relevant to public health because BPD is a common disorder with a significant disease burden. Understanding the needs and concerns of the patient population can help tailor care and reduce the burden of the disease.Using anonymous surveys and a semi-structured interview for individuals with BPD and their first-degree relatives, the knowledge, opinions, and acceptance of genetic counseling in this population have been studied. The Health Belief Model was used to assess current health beliefs relating to BPD. Additionally, using a brief educational session, the effect of education on knowledge and health beliefs was assessed.Preliminary data show that the perceived severity of BPD, susceptibility to BPD, and perceived benefit of genetic information were high at 4.33, 4.45, and 4.36 out of 5, respectively, while the cumulative perceived barriers to testing were moderate to high at 3.09 out of 5. Preliminary data also show that the knowledge of BPD in affected individuals is high at 7 (±1.15) out of 8.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
James, Emily,
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGettig, Elizabethbetsy.gettig@hgen.pitt.eduBGETTIG
Committee MemberGrubs, Robin Erobin.grubs@hgen.pitt.eduRGRUBS
Committee MemberNimgaonkar, Vishwajitvishwajitnl@upmc.eduNIMGA
Date: 28 June 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 3 April 2007
Approval Date: 28 June 2007
Submission Date: 13 April 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
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; health belief model
Other ID:, etd-04132007-133016
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:35


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