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Using questionnaires and interviews, this study investigated counsellees' recall of numerical risk information following genetic counselling for breast and/or ovarian cancer. The relationship between the perceived importance of risk information and recall was also explored. The data confirmed that many women who attend genetic counselling for breast/ovarian cancer experience difficulty in recalling the probabilities used to describe their risk of developing cancer and that recall failure increases with time. There was evidence that counsellees' perceptions of the importance of risk information influence recall. It was suggested that counsellees who failed to recall risk information may not have not attempted to memorize their risk estimate because they had received a written confirmation of their risk following counselling. Alternatively, it was noted that recall failure may have occurred because counsellees regard obtaining a particular numerical risk estimate as less important than having their pre-counselling risk perceptions confirmed or refuted.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychology, Health and Medicine

Publication Date





149 - 159