Information about your appointment

Why counselling in human genetics?

  • There is a known hereditary disease, malformation or disability in your family. You wish to know the likelihood of occurrence for yourself and your children. (Examples: cystic fibrosis, metabolic disorder, familial cancer etc.)
  • You have a child with a condition that may have a hereditary basis. You wish to know more about the diagnosis (cause), prognosis (anticipated development) and therapy (treatment options). (Examples: delayed development, congenital heart defect, epilepsy etc.)
  • You are pregnant. Your gynaecologist documented an abnormal finding.
Basics of human genetics counselling

Counselling in human genetics is: 

  • voluntary - but recommended before any genetic testing;
  • confidential - your information will not be forwarded without your consent;
  • non-directive - we provide you with information; you decide whether you wish to pursue genetic testing.

The average counselling session lasts at least 60 minutes. We take the time with you! You are welcome to bring relatives or friends with you. A typical counselling session follows this pattern:

  • Your concern and your questions: you help determine the course of the session.
  • Your family tree: we map this, in part to look for information about the route of inheritance of the suspected disease.
  • Physical examination: this can sometimes provide key findings that help make a diagnosis possible.
  • Sometimes we recommend further examination by a specialist (e.g. a neurologist or paediatrician) 
  • For most issues, we offer you genetic testing. In this case, we will ask you to return for another consultation to discuss the results. 
  • After the consultation, we will send you a summary report. That way, you don’t need to remember all the details during the counselling session.
Expectations and reality - information about genetic testing

  • In general, all that is needed is a blood sample; you do not need to fast for this sample.
  • There is no “all-in-one” genetic test that can rule out every genetic problem within a family.
  • A genetic test can provide an answer only to a specific question. The goal of the counselling session is to determine what that question is. 
  • Not all genetic tests are desirable or economically justified. We will assist you with this decision. 
What we ask of you

  • Please keep to the agreed upon appointment for counselling or inform us ahead of time if you are unable to make the appointment.
  • Are you not fully comfortable in speaking or understanding German? Please let us know this in advance. Ideally, you should bring an interpreter with you. Please give us at least 1 week’s notice if you would like us to arrange for an interpreter.
  • Prior to your consultation, please send us copies of the doctor’s report that instigated the human genetics counselling. The doctor who referred you will help you with this.
  • Please remember to bring a referral letter from your doctor with you; this is required for billing.
  • Don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us afterwards if you have any questions about the consultation. We also appreciate any feedback you have at any time.
  • Please let us known in writing if there is a change in your address. 
Nach oben scrollen