Genetic risk estimation by health care professionals

Benno Bonke, Aad Tibben, Dick Lindhout, Angus J Clarke and Theo Stijnen
Med J Aust 2005; 182 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb06829.x
Published online: 6 June 2005

In reply: Geneticists and counsellors must be able to calculate risks according to professional standards, regardless of whether modified risks lead to decision changes. Does training in genetic risk calculation help? Only 21% of our respondents who had had such training recently (< 3 years ago) estimated all target risks correctly. In response to Kirk et al, calculating conditional risks need not be time-consuming in scenarios similar to our target pedigrees,1 and is often helpful when at-risk (grand)parents do not wish to be tested but their offspring do.

  • 1 Department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Erasmus MC, PO Box 1738, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2 Department of Clinical Genetics and Neurology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • 3 Department of Medical Genetics, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 4 Department of Medical Genetics, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK
  • 5 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Erasmus MC.


  • 1. Bonke B, Tibben A, Lindhout D, et al. Genetic risk estimation by healthcare professionals. Med J Aust 2005; 182: 116-118. <MJA full text>
  • 2. Tversky A, Kahneman D. Judgment under uncertainty: heuristics and biases. Science 1974; 185: 1124-1131.


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