Date of Award
memorable messages, BRCA, health communication, support, genetic counseling
Health Communication | Interpersonal and Small Group Communication
Communication in healthcare involves sensitive topics and memorable messages that can impact the way an individual handles a tough situation. Genetic testing for illnesses, like the BRCA gene mutation, creates a time of uncertainty leading to difficult conversations. Communication behaviors contribute to recalling messages of importance that shape future actions. Support and compassion are significant characteristics in messages when encouraging preventative behaviors and aiding in decision-making. This study investigated common themes of memorable messages in BRCA-positive disclosures by collecting data from 123 individuals who have experienced a positive BRCA diagnosis. Memorable messages from healthcare workers, loved ones, and coworkers or acquaintances were qualitatively analyzed. This guided identification of distinct characteristics and common themes in memorable messages from different support networks. Positive, supportive, and compassionate messages were frequently found from loved ones. Educational and supportive messages were prevalent from healthcare workers. Supportive messages from coworkers and acquaintances were frequent but other unexpected themes were also found. These results enrich the study of memorable messages, enhancing the understanding of communication behaviors; while also, encouraging appropriate words to be used in interactions during times of uncertainty.
Cam, Alyssa R., "Memorable Messages in BRCA-positive Disclosures" (2022). Honors Thesis. 243.