Predictors of genetic risk recall among participants of a randomized controlled precision prevention trial against melanoma

Published:January 07, 2023DOI:
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      Inherited variation at MC1R imparts low to moderate risk of melanoma. Research on genetic risk recall, factors predicting recall, and whether recall influences adoption of preventive behaviors is limited.


      Participants (n=447) enrolled in a melanoma precision prevention trial were provided MC1R risk information (average or higher) and asked to recall their genetic risk after 6 and 12 months. Predictors of recall were identified using backwards stepwise selection. Intervention effects were reassessed after stratifying by recall.


      Higher-risk participants were two to three times more likely to misremember or not recall than average-risk participants. Misremembering was almost exclusively observed among higher-risk participants. Among average-risk participants, lower health numeracy and not completing the telephone follow-up were associated with not recalling or misremembering. Among higher-risk participants, lower education was associated with not recalling, and lower perceived comparative chance of getting melanoma was associated with misremembering. In general, higher-risk participants who correctly recalled had modestly stronger intervention effects on sun protection behaviors than those who misremembered or did not recall.


      Future studies should examine different strategies to increase genetic risk recall, which may result in improved behavioral outcomes, especially among participants with lower education and health numeracy.


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