Exploring parental cystic fibrosis disclosure to well children.
Cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease and chronic illness, affects multiple organ systems and requires exceptional medical care and treatment. Few studies have assessed the diagnosis disclosure process to well children when their sibling(s) have CF, and none have evaluated the association between parental knowledge of CF and the disclosure of CF. The objectives of this study were to assess parental understanding of CF, demonstrate the most commonly shared topics and their frequencies of discussion with well children, and identify associations between parental understanding of CF and aspects of the disclosure process to well children. Parents were recruited from CF support organizations and asked to complete an online, anonymous survey. Individuals were eligible to participate in the study if they had at least one living child with CF and at least one living child without CF. Completed surveys from 48 individuals revealed that most parents began discussing a sibling's diagnosis of CF with the first-born well child at 5.4 years old. Topics related to CF were discussed openly and as needed with their well children (n = 44). The most frequently discussed topic, and the topic ranked most important (1.93 of 5, SD: 1.17) by 40 participants (90.9%), was medical concerns and treatment for CF. Fewer parents (n = 18, 40.9%) reported discussing the financial impact of CF, and many ranked this as least important to share (4.64 of 5, SD: 0.75). The CF knowledge assessment revealed that participants were well-informed about CF, with a mean total score of 8.9/10 (SD: 0.91). There were no associations between CF knowledge assessment scores, education level, income, and the topics discussed with well children. These results can be utilized by genetic counselors and other healthcare specialists in discussion with parents about the disclosure process of a diagnosis of CF to well children.
Published In/Presented At
Boyer, A., Raraigh, K., Riley, S., & Frank, J. (2023). Exploring parental cystic fibrosis disclosure to well children. Journal of genetic counseling, 32(2), 486–494. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1658
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology