Dissertation - Public Access
Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology
Kathie Bates, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Lane, Ph.D.
Two of this century’s most significant healthcare challenges are Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment, with 40 million people suffering from the diseases. In fact, a conservative estimate projects that both conditions will double every 20 years until 2050. Alzheimer’s disease involves memory impairment, disorientation, confusion, and various problematic behaviors. Presently, no prevention method or cure has been discovered for Alzheimer’s. Mild cognitive impairment typically includes problems with memory, language, thinking, and judgment beyond those typical of one’s age. Usually, these symptoms do not interfere with daily activities but do not improve and have been linked with a risk of developing Alzheimer’s as time goes on. As research in this area has evolved, genetic biomarkers have been discovered that determine the potential risk of Alzheimer’s disease. While there are no guarantees that individuals will develop Alzheimer’s, they can increase the likelihood of disease onset. Despite the potential for life changes and behaviors that could reduce disease risk, most health professionals are unwilling to disclose these biomarkers to their patients. Clinicians’ perceived risk and biases in believing that disclosing this biomarker will harm patients can result in patients receiving limited health information in this area. However, the debate surrounding this disclosure as harmful to patients should be informed by objective outcomes, rather than only perceived harm. This literature review examines the objective outcomes of genetic risk disclosure and ethical guidelines relevant to any disclosure(s).
Rowcliffe, Stacey, "ApoE Risk Disclosure: A Review of Positive and Negative Outcome" (2023). Dissertations. 761.