Genetic test reporting of CDKN2A provides informational and motivational benefits for managing melanoma risk

Lisa G. Aspinwall*, Tammy Kay Stump, Jennifer M. Taber, Danielle M. Drummond, Wendy Kohlmann, Marjan Champine, Sancy A. Leachman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A CDKN2A/p16 mutation confers 28%-67% lifetime melanoma risk, a risk that may be moderated by ultraviolet radiation exposure. The aim of this study was to test whether melanoma genetic counseling and test disclosure conferred unique informational, motivational, or emotional benefits compared to family history-based counseling. Participants included were 114 unaffected members of melanoma-prone families, ages 16-69, 51.8% men, 65.8% with minor children or grandchildren. Carriers (n = 28) and noncarriers (n = 41) from families with a CDKN2A mutation were compared to no-test controls (n = 45) from melanoma-prone families without an identifiable CDKN2A mutation. All participants received equivalent counseling about melanoma risk and management; only CDKN2A participants received genetic test results. Using newly developed inventories, participants rated perceived costs and benefits for managing their own and their children's or grandchildren's melanoma risk 1 month and 1 year after counseling. Propensity scores controlled for baseline family differences. Compared to no-test controls, participants who received test results (carriers and noncarriers) reported feeling significantly more informed and prepared to manage their risk, and carriers reported greater motivation to reduce sun exposure. All groups reported low negative emotions about melanoma risk. Parents reported high levels of preparedness to manage children's risk regardless of group. Carrier parents reported greater (but moderate) worry about their children's risk than no-test control parents. Women, older, and more educated respondents reported greater informational and motivational benefits regardless of group. Genetic test results were perceived as more informative and motivating for personal sun protection efforts than equivalent counseling based on family history alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-43
Number of pages15
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • CDKN2A/p16
  • Familial melanoma
  • Genetic counseling and testing
  • Skin self-examinations
  • Sun-protection behavior
  • Ultraviolet radiation exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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