Patient beliefs and behaviors about genomic risk for type 2 diabetes: implications for prevention.
Type 2 diabetes is a major health burden in the United States, and population trends suggest this burden will increase. High interest in, and increased availability of, testing for genetic risk of type 2 diabetes presents a new opportunity for reducing type 2 diabetes risk for many patients; however, to date, there is little evidence that genetic testing positively affects type 2 diabetes prevention. Genetic information may not fit patients' illness representations, which may reduce the chances of risk-reducing behavior changes. The present study aimed to examine illness representations in a clinical sample who are at risk for type 2 diabetes and interested in genetic testing. The authors used the Common Sense Model to analyze survey responses of 409 patients with type 2 diabetes risk factors. Patients were interested in genetic testing for type 2 diabetes risk and believed in its importance. Most patients believed that genetic factors are important to developing type 2 diabetes (67%), that diet and exercise are effective in preventing type 2 diabetes (95%), and that lifestyle changes are more effective than drugs (86%). Belief in genetic causality was not related to poorer self-reported health behaviors. These results suggest that patients' interest in genetic testing for type 2 diabetes might produce a teachable moment that clinicians can use to counsel behavior change.
Gallagher, P; King, HA; Haga, SB; Orlando, LA; Joy, SV; Trujillo, GM; Scott, WM; Bembe, M; Creighton, DL; Cho, AH; Ginsburg, GS; Vorderstrasse, A
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