Barriers to the provision of genetic services by primary care physicians: a systematic review of the literature

Genet Med. Mar-Apr 2003;5(2):70-6. doi: 10.1097/01.GIM.0000055201.16487.61.


Purpose: The purpose of this literature review is to report primary care physicians' perceived barriers concerning the provision of genetic services.

Methods: Sixty-eight papers were identified in six electronic databases. Only publications classified as empirical studies (N = 18) were included in this review.

Results: Barriers identified most frequently in reviewed studies were inadequate knowledge of basic genetics, lack of detailed or updated family histories, lack of confidence, and lack of referral guidelines.

Conclusion: Although many primary care physicians perceive genetics as a low practice priority, they do report a need for educational programs in genetics, informational resources, and referral guidelines.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Medical History Taking
  • Physicians, Family / trends*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends*