Family experiences and attitudes about receiving the diagnosis of sex chromosome aneuploidy in a child

Kirsten A. Riggan, Sharron Close, Megan A. Allyse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The most common sex chromosome aneuploidies (SCA) (47, XXY; 47, XYY; 47, XXX) frequently result in a milder phenotype than autosomal aneuploidies. Nevertheless, these conditions are highly variable and more symptomatic phenotypes may require significant clinical involvement, including specialty care. While historically most individuals with mild phenotypes remained undiagnosed during their lifetime, the increasing use of genetic testing in clinical care has increased the prenatal and postnatal diagnosis of SCAs. These genetic tests are frequently ordered by nongenetic providers who are also responsible for delivering the diagnosis. We surveyed parents of children (n = 308) to evaluate their experience of receiving a diagnosis and their support needs. The majority (73.3%) received the diagnosis from a nongenetic medical provider. Following a prenatal diagnosis parents reported experiencing depression, anxiety, and less optimism than those receiving a postnatal diagnosis. Few parents reported receiving materials explaining their child's condition that they found to be up-to-date, accurate, and unbiased. The frequently negative reported experiences of parents at time of diagnosis suggests more educational opportunities should be provided for nongenetic providers in order to become more informed about these conditions and communicate the diagnosis in a way parents experience as supportive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-413
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • diagnosis disclosure
  • noninvasive prenatal testing
  • postnatal diagnosis
  • prenatal diagnosis
  • sex chromosome aneuploidy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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