The effects of 'non-directive' questioning on an anticipated decision whether to undergo predictive testing for heart disease: an experimental study.
Wroe AL., Salkovskis PM.
This study investigates how individuals can be helped to make decisions about predictive genetic testing. Participants (n = 120) rated how likely they would be to opt for predictive testing for heart disease if it were available, and other variables such as anxiety about heart disease. They received information on predictive testing for heart disease and ratings were repeated. Participants were then randomly allocated to one of three groups and focused on the personal relevance of positive issues or negative issues which had been mentioned as part of the standardised information previously given. The third group focused on issues irrelevant to testing for heart disease. The form of questioning used in this focusing manipulation was intended to model the processes involved in non-directive questioning. Results showed a significant increase in likelihood of testing in the positive group, and a significant decrease in the negative group. There was also a significant decrease in rated anxiety about heart disease and perceived severity of an increased susceptibility to heart disease of the negative group relative to the positive and control groups. The results may have implications for the ways in which pre-test counselling is carried out.