Psychosocial Factors Associated With Genetic Testing Status Among African American Women With Ovarian Cancer: Results From The African American Cancer Epidemiology Study

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Background: Racial disparities in the uptake of cancer genetic services are well documented among African American (AA) women. Understanding the multiple social and psychological factors that can influence the uptake of genetic testing among AA women is needed. Methods: Data came from 270 AA women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and participating in a population-based, case-control study of ovarian cancer who were asked about genetic testing. Logistic regression analyses tested the associations of predisposing, enabling, and need factors with reported genetic testing uptake. Results: One-third of the sample (35%) reported having had genetic testing. In the multivariable model, AA women with higher incomes had more than double the odds of being tested than those with the lowest income (odds ratio [OR] for $25,000-$74,999, 2.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-3.99; OR for ≥$75,000, 2.32; 95% CI, 0.92-5.94). AA women who reported employment discrimination were significantly less likely to report genetic testing than those who did not report job discrimination (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.14-0.95). Marital status, Medicaid versus other insurance, prayer frequency, and perceived social support were significantly associated with genetic testing uptake in bivariate analyses but were not significant contributors in multivariable analyses. Conclusions: Consistent with other studies of AA women, a minority of African American Cancer Epidemiology Study participants had undergone genetic testing. Having a lower income and experiencing job discrimination decreased the likelihood of testing. These results provide foundational evidence supporting the need for interventions to improve the uptake of genetic testing among AA women by reducing cost barriers and providing credible assurances that genetic results will be kept private and not affect social factors such as employability.

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