Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 163-166

A Questionnaire Survey of Psychiatrists Attitudes Towards Genetic Counselling

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal-576119, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental health & Neurosciences, Bangalore-560 029, India

Correspondence Address:
D Venugopal
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal-576119
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21407930

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Genetic counselling in psychiatry aims at facilitating mentally ill patients and their relatives to make informed choices after understanding what is known about the genetics of a given mental disorder This area of practice is a recent development in mental health care. This study surveyed the attitudes and practices of Indian psychiatrists towards genetic counselling. Fifty-nine out of 150 randomly selected psychiatrists completed a semi-structured questionnaire assessing various aspects of genetic counselling in practice. The results show that there is a felt need for genetic counselling among patients. Most of the respondents provide information regarding the hereditary nature and risk of inheritance of mental illnesses in single sessions of less than 30 minutes duration in clinical situations. Most psychiatrists (76%) felt that genetic counselling is feasible in practice, but 24% felt inadequate knowledge, illiteracy among patients and time constraints as some hindering factors for the same. Genetic counselling was considered to be important in planning management for patients by most respondents. The need to improve their knowledge and skills in the genetic understanding of mental illnesses was also reported. These results have implications for future practice of genetic counselling in the Indian setting.



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