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Testing for the BRCA Gene, Research Proposal Example

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Research Proposal

The factors influencing the psychological reactions to testing for the BRCA gene

Abstract

The research work clearly identifies the behavioral, cognitive, and emotional factors influencing Psychological Reactions to the testing of BRCA Gene. The gene testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations is under integration into the clinical management of people that have had to encounter the family history of the disease, which is suggestive of inherited cancer susceptibility.

Title

The factors Influencing Psychological Reactions to BRCA Testing Gene

Aim

This is a qualitative meta-analysis investigating the behavioral, cognitive, and emotional factors influencing psychological reactions to BRCA Testing Gene.

Background:

BRCA 1/2 mutations is responsible for ovarian and breast cancer high risks in women. Most of these women who have tested BRCA 1/2 positive are influenced by key psychological factors in deciding whether to undertake risk-reducing surgery or not. BRCA 1 and 2 gene testing are currently being integrated into the clinical management procedures for patients with such a family disease history. This history suggests that the patient could have inherited the genes responsible for the disease from the parents.

Method:

A qualitative meta-analysis will be administered on section of women who have tested positive for BRCA 1 gene mutation. The qualitative approach is worthwhile because psychological approaches are identified from the patients concerning the testing of BRCA gene. With the qualitative study, the flexibility is guaranteed even with the subsequent analysis of data.

Expected outcomes

This study aims at providing information on the factors influencing psychological reactions to testing for the BRCA gene. This information will help in restructuring both pre-testing and post-testing counseling in order to make it more relevant to the needs of the victims. Furthermore, the information gotten from this study will help in identifying a better way of public sensitization about the importance of the test.

 Literature review

Many women who have tested BRCA 1 and 2 positive are influenced by key psychological factors in deciding whether to undertake risk-reducing surgery or not. Research has shown that those who strongly feel the need to opt for surgery if tested positive eventually do so when the test comes positive (Peshkin, 2007). The ease with which one decides to undertake surgery before testing as well as higher psychological impacts have proven to be factors that determine the ease with which one decides to undertake risk reducing mastectomy (Holland et al 2010).  Family coping is another factor that influences the testing of BRCA gene. Gehlert (2011) shows that an increase in the level of family coping resources prior to genetic testing can have some genetic effect on the adaptability and on the cohesion for the men (Peshkin, 2007).

Another factor involves the gender, in which case it moderates the genetic tests. Peshkin (2008) asserts that women can report significant changes in the entire family functioning after the notification of their genetic status. Male carriers can report increasing familial adaptability. The other factor that influences the BRCA1 testing gene involves the life circumstances. These alter the family adjustments after the genetic testing. Men reports greater rates of decreasing family adaptability and cohesion to a year after genetic testing. (Holland & Jacobsen, 2010).

Having a carrier sister can increase the adaptability and the cohesion. However, one cannot rule out the likelihood that preexisting levels of interconnection of the family facilitates the genetic test. The other factor involves the consummate deal of care-giving involvements. Peshkin (2007) asserts that men with a great deal of care-giving involvements for a female relative with cancer reports significant rates of decline in adaptability in relation to men that have no affected relatives (Peshkin, 2007).

Support groups are another factor that influences the BRCA testing gene. Peshkin (2007) elaborates that many will be having the interest to participate in some support groups. It is quite acceptable that the intervention by the telephone becomes the acceptable to the mutation carriers than the traditional support groups in which case it is due to telephone counseling allow greater convenience and anonymity. Telephone counseling also helps in providing greater attention to the concerns of the individual related to genetic test result (Peshkin, 2007, p. 87).

Ethical Issues

Any research study must conform to the rule of confidentiality. Researchers suggest that confidentiality involves maintaining privacy of information obtained from the study. This is because any disclosure of such information, may disclose the identity of the individuals involved. This study will ensure a high standard of participant anonymity is maintained through numbering them with private means of identifying them within the data. Researchers in this study will set out research guidelines before commencing the research (Peshkin, 2007)

Sample

This study will use a sample of 200 participants both male and female over the age of 18years. The sample will be drawn from the National Center for Patients with Cancer. They will comprise of individuals who have tested positive to BRCA Testing Gene. The samples will be chosen as the researcher wishes and the researcher will personally interview each participant. This is for obtaining rich and quality data from the sample (Stewards, 2003)

Data Collection

With the qualitative study as the primary approach, open-ended, semi-structured, but in-depth interviews will be administered. This will enable the participants to voice the psychological concerns regarding the testing of BRCA gene. This will also provided an opportunity for discussion ensuring that the subsequent meta-analysis will be stress-free and simple. The researcher will also interact with the participant and clarification will be enhanced. With permission from the participants, the interview will be audio-taped with estimated time-frame of each participant being between 40-60 minutes.

Data Analysis

Data analysis will be concurrent with the data collection whilst making the collected information meaningful. In the process of analyzing data, transcriptions of verbatim from the replies from participants will be essential. The important aspects in qualitative studies include description, analysis, and subsequent interpretation.

Plans for dissemination

The results of this study will be published in various nursing journals and other academic publications. Discussion of the outcomes in various seminars will also be of great importance.

Research project period

Jan:

  • Project Starts
  • Approval
  • Make contact with Consultants and explain study.
  • Literature review

Feb:

  • Participants Recruitment
  • Interviews administered

March – mid April:

  • completing the interviews
  • Data transcription
  • Coding data

May:

  • Data analysis

June:  Final Report

References

Doak, M. (2009). Genetics and Genetic Engineering. Pennsylvania State University

Gehlert, S & Browne, T. (2011). Handbook of Health Social Work. John Wiley & Sons

Halbert C, Schwartz M, Wenzel L, t al. (2004). Predictors of cognitive appraisals followings Genetic testings for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. J Behav Med, vol. 27(4):373-92.

Holland, J, Jacobsen, P Et al. (2010). Psycho-Oncology. Oxford University Press

Lee, E. (2008). Genes and Hormonal Factors Involved in the Development or Recurrence of Breast Cancer. New Jersey NJ: ProQuest

McInerney-Leo A, Biesecker B, Hadley D, et al. (2005). BRCA1/2 Testing in hereditary ovarian and breast cancer families II: impact on the relationship. Am J Med Genet, vol. 1: 133A (2): 165-9.

Peshkin, B. (2007). Genetic Counseling in Breast Cancer. New York NY: IOS Press

Steward, B, Kleihues, P. (2003). World Cancer Report. IARC

Thompson D, Easton D. (2002). Cancer Incidence in BRCA1 mutation carriers. J Natl Cancer Inst, vol. 18: 94(18):1358-65.

Watson, M & Kissane, D. (2011). Handbook of Psychotherapy in Cancer Care. John Wiley & Sons

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