Minding the Genes: a Multidisciplinary Approach towards Genetic Assessment of Cardiovascular Disease

Ashley Rhodes, Lindsey Rosman, John Cahill, Jodie Ingles, Brittney Murray, Crystal Tichnell, Cynthia A. James, Samuel F. Sears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Genetic assessment for inherited cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increasingly available, due in part to rapid innovations in genetic sequencing technologies. While genetic testing is aimed at reducing uncertainty, it also produces awareness of potential medical conditions and can leave patients feeling uncertain about their risk, especially if there are ambiguous results. This uncertainty can produce psychological distress for patients and their families undergoing the assessment process. Additionally, patients may experience psychological distress related to living with inherited CVD. In order to more effectively manage the psychosocial challenges related to genetic assessment for CVD, a multidisciplinary model expanded to include psychologists and other allied health professionals is outlined. A case study is provided to illustrate how psychological distress can manifest in a patient living with inherited CVD, as well as proposed psychological management of this patient. Finally, a guide for genetic counselors is provided to aid in identifying and managing common psychological reactions to genetic assessment for CVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Genetic counseling
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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