Genetic counseling and testing for Asian Americans: a systematic review

Jennifer L. Young*, Julie Mak, Talia Stanley, Michelle Bass, Mildred K. Cho, Holly K. Tabor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Asian Americans have been understudied in the literature on genetic and genomic services. The current study systematically identified, evaluated, and summarized findings from relevant qualitative and quantitative studies on genetic health care for Asian Americans. Methods: A search of five databases (1990 to 2018) returned 8,522 unique records. After removing duplicates, abstract/title screening, and full text review, 47 studies met inclusion criteria. Data from quantitative studies were converted into “qualitized data” and pooled together with thematic data from qualitative studies to produce a set of integrated findings. Results: Synthesis of results revealed that (1) Asian Americans are under-referred but have high uptake for genetic services, (2) linguistic/communication challenges were common and Asian Americans expected more directive genetic counseling, and (3) Asian Americans’ family members were involved in testing decisions, but communication of results and risk information to family members was lower than other racial groups. Conclusion: This study identified multiple barriers to genetic counseling, testing, and care for Asian Americans, as well as gaps in the research literature. By focusing on these barriers and filling these gaps, clinical genetic approaches can be tailored to meet the needs of diverse patient groups, particularly those of Asian descent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1424-1437
Number of pages14
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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