The task of genetic counselling of people at risk for Huntington's disease might be facilitated by increased knowledge of relevant population characteristics. The aim of the present study was to clarify select socioeconomic characteristics, knowledge concerning the disease, and attitudes towards predictive tests of people at 50% risk of inheriting Huntington's disease in the state of Victoria. A random sample of subjects was drawn from the Huntington's disease register and 50 questionnaires were analysed. Respondents completed three questionnaires which covered their socioeconomic characteristics, the extent and accuracy of their knowledge about the genetic, progress, and treatment of Huntington's disease, and their attitude and acceptance of predictive tests as well as their intentions about future reproduction. A very positive attitude was found to be held by the respondents towards a predictive test if it was safe, reliable, and non-invasive. Resultant problems which would arise, should a reliable test be found, are discussed. The respondent's knowledge concerning the disease was found to be adequate generally.
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