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Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis Counseling 


The proposed study focuses on aspects of language and communication in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (hereafter PGD) and genetic counseling (hereafter GC) settings in Hong Kong. PGD is a technique combining in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and genetic testing on an embryo, with the purpose of avoiding the transmission of genetic abnormalities or conditions to the next generation. The study will investigate the interactional and discourse strategies used in PGD and GC services for a variety of genetic conditions by a designated team of healthcare providers. The data collected will include video- or audio-recorded consultations between healthcare provider and clients. The research team will examine the ways in which specific discourse and linguistic strategies used by healthcare providers affects the ways in which information is presented to and comprehended by clients. 


  • To build a database of healthcare provider-client communication in PGD and GC settings in Hong Kong. 

  • To examine in detail healthcare provider-client communication in PGD and GC consultations from an interactional perspective, e.g.: 

  • How information delivery is accomplished 

  • Kinds of relationships and power dynamics found among healthcare providers and clients, as demonstrated through language use 

  • Verbal and non-verbal patterns of communication 

  • Socio-cultural  and ethnographic aspects of PDGD and GC in Hong Kong 

  • To analyze the general effect of the PC and GC consultations on clients' ethical reasoning, with special emphasis on (group) decision-making in this setting. 

It is expected that more specific study objectives will be identified at later stages of this project when the data becomes available. 

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