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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R21CA236496-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Sheppard, Vanessa
Organization: Virginia Commonwealth University
Project Title: Improving Uptake of Genetic Cancer Risk Assessment in African American Women
Fiscal Year: 2021


Abstract Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer for Black women. Black women suffer from more aggressive forms of breast cancer (e.g. triple negative breast cancer) and higher morality and recurrence rates than their White counterparts. Additionally, Black women, specifically young Black women, have the highest prevalence of BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which significantly increases their lifetime risk of developing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). While genetic cancer risk assessments for women at high risk of carrying a mutation informs treatment for survivors and risk management decisions in unaffected women, Black women underutilize this resource when compared to White women. Reasons for disparities in genetic counseling and testing are multifaceted (e.g. access, lack of knowledge); however, studies indicate that increasing access and awareness alone may be insufficient to address disparities. Addressing cultural and psychosocial factors may enhance uptake of genetic counseling and testing. Culturally appropriate information is needed. Our experienced multidisciplinary team will conduct a risk communication intervention designed to target emotions, and cultural values. Guided by the two evidenced-based theories (Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory) and our preliminary data, we will conduct a two-phased mixed methods study. In Phase I we will develop a narrative YouTube video intervention that will target key psychosocial factors. In Phase II we will pilot the intervention in Black women at risk of HBOC. Women will be randomized either the YouTube video arm (n=25) or a Print education arm (n=25); all women will be contacted by a scheduler to make an appointment for genetic counseling. Our primary outcome is genetic counseling at 3-months following the receipt of the intervention or print materials; secondary outcomes include psychosocial factors (e.g. knowledge, self-efficacy). This study meets the Healthy People 2020 goals to enhance GCT in at-risk populations, and the national priorities to increase diversity in genetics research participation while incorporating emotions into cancer research. Findings will inform new strategies for behavioral interventions targeting Black women at-risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and will inform a future multicenter trial.


Addressing disparities in the uptake of genetic counseling and testing in African American women; rationale, design and methods.
Authors: Sheppard V.B. , Sutton A.L. , Hurtado-De-Mendoza A. , Tariq F. , Perera R.A. , Quillin J. , Jeudy M. , Gómez-Trillos S. , Schwartz M.D. .
Source: Contemporary clinical trials, 2023 Jul; 130, p. 107210.
EPub date: 2023-05-02.
PMID: 37142159
Related Citations

The role of psychosocial factors in Black women's self-efficacy in receiving genetic counseling and testing.
Authors: Ding H. , Sutton A.L. , Hurtado-de-Mendoza A. , Sheppard V.B. .
Source: Journal of genetic counseling, 2021 Dec; 30(6), p. 1719-1726.
EPub date: 2021-06-04.
PMID: 34085362
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