The idiographic science perspective applied to the treatment of younger women with BRCA mutation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


A limited number of cases, estimated in just 5-10 over 100, of breast cancer are caused by hereditary genetic mutations. When this happens, even a single mutation of a gene (BRCA1 or BRCA2) contributes to a high likelihood of developing breast cancer, also during young adulthood. Women diagnosed with genetic mutations face numerous psychosocial challenges managing their cancer risk, communicating the genetic diagnosis to family members, and disclosing their status to current or potential partners. The idiographic approach is a promising strategy to understand the challenging nature of these situations, because of its ability to investigate meanings and implications of complex phenomena. In particular, it contributes to the identification of elements that guide the psychological support to the client, especially around the communication process and the potential prophylactic surgery. Aim of the present chapter is therefore to illustrate the case study of a young woman with breast cancer related to a BRCA2 mutation. Through the review of the psychological consultation with her, it will be possible to present some clinically relevant suggestions about the work with this group of women and to reflect on the resources associated with the use of the idiographic approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdiographic approach to health
EditorsNedergaard, J., Freda M. F., Salvatore S. De Luca Picione R.
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • BRCA mutation
  • breast cancer


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