Genetic Counseling Program

Untitled Document

Factors Influencing Patient Decisions to Decline Prenatal Genetic Counseling: A Pilot Study.  By Theresa Mihalic

No studies to date have explored reasons why patients referred for prenatal genetic counseling (GC) would decline this service.  The goal of this study was to pilot test a survey designed to elicit factors that influence patients to decline prenatal GC at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Patients who declined prenatal GC from January to April 2010 at UNC were mailed a survey to complete and return.  Patients who planned to attend their prenatal GC appointment were matched by referral indication and identified as a control population.  A total of 6 decline and 5 control participants returned the survey, for a response rate of 30% and 25% respectively.  Survey responses were tabulated as preliminary descriptive data. Preliminary data suggests that patients who decline prenatal GC may have a lack of understanding about GC, misconceptions about GC or what is discussed during a GC session, or different health beliefs than those patients who do not decline their prenatal GC appointment. It was anticipated that the results of this study would identify factors that may influence patients to decline genetic counseling, so that strategies to overcome these factors can be explored.

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  • "I chose to attend UNCG because of its shared learning environment and the access to some of the leading institutions in the country. "



  • "UNCG is a great fit for me. The program directors have extensive experience in the world of genetic counseling and provide you with opportunities to work with some of the best medical centers in the country. Our location allows us to have expert guest lecturers, many of whom you also get to work alongside or observe in your clinical rotations in your second year. We also have some really wonderful and unique opportunities as a part of this program: we observe in syndrome specific support groups and clinics, tour genetic laboratories, and are matched with a family with a genetic disease to learn what it is like to live with a genetic condition. Finally, our directors are genuinely invested in each of us, and care about our success and getting to know each of us personally."




  • "The director and assistant director do their best to ensure that our program provides a collaborative learning experience.  Both are active members of the Genetic Counseling community and strive to introduce you to all aspects of this field.  We also have renowned clinical sites and the beautiful state of North Carolina at our disposal.”