Impact of melanoma genetic test reporting on perceived control over melanoma prevention

Lisa G. Aspinwall, Tammy K. Stump, Jennifer M. Taber, Wendy Kohlmann, Samantha L. Leaf, Sancy A. Leachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


To determine whether receiving melanoma genetic test results undermines perceived control over melanoma prevention, control-related beliefs were examined among 60 adults from melanoma-prone families receiving CDKN2A/p16 test results (27 unaffected noncarriers, 15 unaffected carriers, 18 affected carriers; response rate at 2 years = 64.9 % of eligible respondents). Multilevel modeling of perceived control ratings over a 2-year period revealed significant variation in individual trajectories: most participants showed increases (45 %) or no change (38.3 %), while 16.7 % showed decreases. At the group level, noncarriers reported sustained increases through the 2-year follow-up (ps < .05); unaffected carriers reported significant short-term increases (ps < .05); and affected carriers reported no change. Participants in all groups continued to rate photoprotection as highly effective in reducing melanoma risk and reported decreased beliefs that carrying the p16 mutation would inevitably lead to the development of melanoma. Qualitative responses immediately following counseling and test reporting corroborated these findings, as 93 % indicated it was possible to either prevent (64.9 %) or decrease the likelihood (28.1 %) of future melanomas. Thus, genetic test reporting does not generally undermine perceived control over melanoma prevention, though variability in response to positive results warrants future study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-765
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 21 2015


  • CDKN2A/p16
  • Familial melanoma
  • Genetic counseling
  • Genetic determinism
  • Perceived control
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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