Genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer among Puerto Rican women living in the United States

Courtney L. Scherr, Elsa Vasquez, Gwendolyn P. Quinn, Susan T. Vadaparampil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about barriers to Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) genetic counseling among Puerto Rican women. Objective: This study reviews existing literature to identify individual, interpersonal, and systems level factors that may impact the use of HBOC genetic services among Puerto Rican women living in the United States. Methods: A systematic search of articles published between the years 1995-2014 was performed in PubMed and ISI Web of Science. Additionally, the bibliography of relevant articles was reviewed for additional potential articles. Results: Individual level barriers most frequently identified included: a lack of knowledge or awareness about HBOC or genetic counseling and testing, and facilitators included high levels of interest in genetic counseling/genetic testing. Interpersonal level barriers included worry about knowing a family member’s risk, and conversely, a facilitator was the ability to help family members. Systems level barriers included concerns about the cost, having competing life demands, whereas facilitators included holding private insurance. Conclusion: Puerto Rican women are a unique ethnic minority group with specific perceptions, beliefs and levels of education about genetic counseling and testing for HBOC. Addressing individual, interpersonal and systems level factors unique to this group may improve knowledge and awareness. Policy and structural changes may be needed to improve system level barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalReviews on Recent Clinical Trials
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cultural factors
  • Genetic counseling
  • Genetic testing
  • Hereditary breast cancer
  • Hereditary ovarian cancer
  • Latinos
  • Puerto ricans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer among Puerto Rican women living in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this