Genetic Counselling


Genetic counselling is a vital part of the field of medical genetics. Genetic counsellors are trained in the fields of genetics and psychosocial counselling, and act as advocates for families affected by genetic disorders, helping them to understand the concepts of heredity and assisting them in planning for treatment of affected individuals as well as providing options for future offspring.

Keywords: genetic counselling; nondirective; recurrence risk; supportive counselling

Figure 1.


Figure 2.

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS). A, transabdominal approach to CVS. B, transcervical approach to CVS.

Figure 3.

Embryo biopsy for preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Courtesy of Dr Susan Lanzendorf, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, USA.


Further Reading

Emery AEH and Rimoin DL (eds) (1997) Principles and Practice of Medical Genetics, 3rd edn. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone..

Fuhrmann W and Vogel F (1983) Genetic Counseling. New York: Springer.

Harper PS (1988) Practical Genetic Counselling, 3rd edn. London: Wright.

Leonard CO, Chase GA and Childs B (1972) Genetic counseling: a consumer's view. New England Journal of Medicine 287(9): 433–439.

Reed SC (1974) A short history of genetic counseling. Social Biology 21(4): 332–339.

Robinson A and Linden MG (1993) Clinical Genetics Handbook, 2nd edn. Boston: Blackwell Scientific.

Thompson MW, McInnes RR and Willard HF (1991) Thompson and Thompson: Genetics in Medicine, 5th edn. Philadelphia: WB Saunders.

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How to Cite close
Phillips, Susan E(Apr 2001) Genetic Counselling. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001883]