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Taylor CA, et al. Predictive testing for Huntington disease in Canada : Adverse effects and unexpected in those receiving a decreased risk.

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As the authors noted, this conclusion matches the findings of several other studies Tibben et al. First, the Richards and Williams study shows that pre-test discussion by the couple can be very helpful to their relationship. Soldan et al. In another couple tested, a woman believed to be at risk for HD gained self-esteem from a negative result.

This is an easy-to-read article that is especially interesting because of its discussion on the benefits of pre- and post-test counseling. Exploration of the effects of predictive testing for Huntington disease on intimate relationships. A major source of psychosocial stress associated with HD comes from predictive testing which became available in the United States in However, less research has focused on the psychological impact that predictive testing may have on those at risk for HD and their partners, family and friends.

Studies, in addition to Richards and Williamsthat found few negative effects of predictive testing on couple relationships: Codori AM, et al.

In this study, all at-risk persons were undergoing predictive testingwith 26 carriers and 14 of their partners, and 33 of non-carriers and 17 of their partners participating in the study. The information we present is intended for educational purposes only and should Huntington expecations dating be construed as offering diagnoses or recommendations. Complementing the Richards and Williams study, the Decruyenaere study shows the importance of post-test counseling.

This theory is especially relevant to the genetic counseling of couple relationships because its central focus is on the family rather than the individual. In a study in Belgium, where HD predictive testing has been available sinceEvers-Kiebooms found that a moderate majority of people at-risk for HD and their non-carrier partners looked positively on predictive testing. In particular, this pre-test assessment can help identify particular challenges that the couple may face after the testing and may lead to re-consideration of testing in the first place.

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After the testing showed she did not have HD, she regretted her decision to marry her husband, clearly leading to relationship deterioration. One of the major issues of course is stresswhich can come from many sources and has many effects for general discussion of stress and HD. Psychological model for presymptomatic test interviews: Lessons learned from Huntington disease.

Moreover, the hereditary nature of the disease can also lead to difficult questions about reproduction and about the possibility of other family members having the disease.

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Huggins et al. Studies, in addition to Richards and Williamsthat found few negative effects of predictive testing on couple relationships:. The important factor for couples undergoing predictive testing is whether the test result causes role shifts that upset the balance of the pre-test couple relationship.

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Post-test counseling can help couples find and maintain a new balance that is satisfying to both partners. A reason that some couples decided not to undergo predictive testing was concern about the effects of the testing on their relationship; this concern was more often a major consideration for non-carrier partners than for the at-risk adults. In the remainder of this section, we review their key findings to date. This counseling should include open communication between the partners, with special attention paid to the desires and worries of each partner.

Another possible explanation is provided by examining family patterns via family systems theory rather than individual behavior. We operate as a not-for-profit public service organization, and our funding is entirely from private sources. Out of those that did report change, non-carrier couples cited less distress and more communication. Quaid KA, et al.

Carrier couples that experienced increased relationship quality over the five years cited more mutual support.

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Since undesired shifts in roles may contribute to couple relationship breakdown whether the test result is positive or negative, the researchers of this study strongly support post-test counseling. When the prove to be different from expectations, conflict can arise contributing to relationship deterioration and lower couple scores. Studies by Huggins et al.

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The specific couple relationship examined in the Decruyenaere study was marriage. Couples in both groups answered the same questionnaire before predictive testingthen 6 months later 3 months after those tested received their testand again 24 months after the first questionnaire. This research is important because HD affects many more people than just the person who has it.

With low self-esteem before the test, she had married someone who did not match her ideals in a spouse. Richards F, and Williams K. Impact on couple relationships of predictive testing for Huntington disease: a longitudinal study.

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For example, two couples that received positive test reported frustration as the partners shifted toward caretaking roles even before the people with HD showed any symptoms. Tibben A, et al. DNA is made of nucleotide building blocks arranged in a long chain. Consequently, family systems theory can help explain the effects of predictive testing on couple relationships by analyzing how family relationship patterns can influence post-test behavior.

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This suggests that, for some couples, the knowledge that their at-risk partner did not have HD had a greater negative effect on their marital relationship than the knowledge that their partner did have HD. Once this threat is removed, partners may no longer feel a duty or need to remain in the marriage to care or to be cared for. But the study also collected qualitative data from separate interviews with the at-risk persons and their partners.

What does the medical literature say about the pros and cons of predictive testing for couple relationships, especially psychosocial aspects? Our goal is to survey the rapidly growing scientific literature on HD and to present this information in a web source. For specifics on the process of HD predictive testingplease. Clinical Huntington expecations dating. It is clear from these studies that the psychosocial impact of predictive testing on the couple relationship is complex, with a of factors that contribute to both positive and negative outcomes.

The key conclusion was that predictive testing has few negative effects on couple relationships.

Long-term impact of Huntington disease linkage testing. This study is not only easy-to-read but also optimistic in its finding that most marital relationships remained the same five years after predictive testingregardless of the test. The family systems theory describes human behavior as a consequence of family relationship patterns, rather than individual psychology.

Qualitative data are useful because they can provide more thorough explanations for trends observed in couple relationship over time.

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On attitudes and appreciation 6 months after predictive DNA. Usually abbreviated as DNA, which is the 'instruction manual' that directs the growth and development of the cells and body. As for the quality of the marital relationship, half of the couples reported no change in that interval compared to the quality before the predictive testing. What percentage of couples looks favorably upon predictive testing?

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Is there a theory on how predictive testing affects couple relationships? And what motivations drive their decisions? Unexpectedly, the carrier couples had higher couple scores stronger couple relationships of statistical ificance than the non-carrier couples. An additional finding from the study is interesting. The couples that underwent predictive testing were categorized into couples in which the at-risk partner was a carrier and couples in which the at-risk partner was a non-carrier.

We emphasize that we are neither medical professionals, nor are we affiliated Huntington expecations dating the researchers and laboratories mentioned on our s. Similar to the work of Richards and Williams reviewed above, a study by Decruyenaere in also used the Dyadic Adjustment Scale to measure changes in the couple relationship for 5 years following predictive testing. A conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that the test result does not by itself predict outcomes in the couple relationship; even couples with negative test for HD may experience post-test psychosocial distress and couple relationship breakdown.

In a study by Richards and Williams, 43 couples were divided into two groups: those that chose to undergo predictive testing and those that chose not to. The major finding of this study was that, over the 24 month period, there was no statistically ificant difference in couple scores between couples who had decided to undergo predictive testing and couples who had decided not to.

Conclusions Further Reading. Yes, a perspective called family systems theorydeveloped over the past few decades, has proven particularly useful in genetic counseling. Fortunately, researchers are now focusing more of their attention on predictive testing and its effects on the couple relationship.

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