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||Exploratory study of the feasibility and utility of the colored eco-genetic relationship map (CEGRM) in women at high genetic risk of developing breast cancer.
||Peters JA, Kenen R, Giusti R, Loud J, Weissman N, Greene MH
||Am J Med Genet A
||2004 Oct 15
||We report here the results of an exploratory feasibility study of the colored eco-genetic relationship map (CEGRM), a novel, recently-developed psychosocial assessment tool, which incorporates features of the genetic pedigree, family systems genogram, and ecomap. The CEGRM presents a simple, concise, visual representation of the social interaction domains of information, services, and emotional support through the application of color-coded symbols to the genetic pedigree. The interactive process of completing the CEGRM was designed to facilitate contemporary genetic counseling goals of: (a) understanding the client in the context of her/his social milieu; (b) bolstering client self-awareness and insight; (c) fostering active client participation and mutuality in the counseling interaction; (d) eliciting illuminating social narratives; and (e) addressing outstanding emotional issues. Twenty women participating in a breast imaging study of women from families with BRCA1/2 mutations completed and evaluated various aspects of the CEGRM. We found that efficient construction of the CEGRM was feasible, and that compliance was excellent. Participants developed insights into their social milieu through observing the visual pattern of relationships illustrated by the CEGRM. The process of co-constructing the CEGRM fostered the participant's active involvement in the session, marked by mutuality and increased empathy. In this clinical research context, the participants felt free to share poignant stories about their friends and families. Further studies are planned to refine the CEGRM and to examine its utility in cancer genetics research.