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Management Choices and Reproductive Concerns in Young Women with BRCA Mutations: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis

Schnipper, Laura H (2008) Management Choices and Reproductive Concerns in Young Women with BRCA Mutations: A Qualitative Thematic Analysis. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Women who are found to carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations are given recommendations of management options ranging from surveillance, to chemoprevention, and surgery. Choices regarding management may be influenced by experiences with cancer in a family. Besides management options, young women with a BRCA mutation may be concerned about reproductive choices. This study investigates the reproductive concerns in young women with BRCA mutations and how their choices regarding management are influenced by their family history. A secondary analysis employing a thematic analysis method was performed using interview transcripts. In the initial study open-ended email and telephone interviews were guided by grounded theory methodology. The current study was comprised of 14 women, aged 18-30 who tested positive for a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Two main themes were identified: 1. Management choices are highly influenced by the cancer histories of family members, 2. Young women who have a BRCA mutation experience a sense of urgency about their reproductive choices. Perceived closeness to family members with cancer appeared to impact decisions for medical management. The results of this study suggest which the participants who elected for prophylactic surgeries had an eminent sense of cancer risks that was largely based on the family history of cancer. A sense of feeling rushed into starting a family and concerns of passing on the BRCA mutation to their children were the reproductive concerns in young women with a BRCA mutation. From these results, health professionals may gain insight into the management choices and concerns of young BRCA mutation carriers. This work also has relevance to public health by being applicable to common diseases and how management choices can be influenced by experiences within a family.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Schnipper, Laura; haylee2000@aol.coLHS4
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairHamilton, Rebekah
Committee CoChairGrubs, Robin Ergrubs@pitt.eduRGRUBS
Committee MemberThull, Darcy
Committee MemberGettig, Elizabeth Abgettig@pitt.eduBGETTIG
Date: 28 September 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 24 July 2008
Approval Date: 28 September 2008
Submission Date: 1 August 2008
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: prophylactic oophorectomy
Other ID:, etd-08012008-132800
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:56
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:47


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