Report from the National Society of Genetic Counselors service delivery model task force: a proposal to define models, components, and modes of referral

J Genet Couns. 2012 Oct;21(5):645-51. doi: 10.1007/s10897-012-9505-y. Epub 2012 May 8.


The Service Delivery Model Task Force (SDMTF) was appointed in 2009 by the leadership of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) with a charge to research and assess the capacity of all existing service delivery models to improve access to genetic counseling services in the context of increasing demand for genetic testing and counseling. In approaching this charge, the SDMTF found that there were varying interpretations of what was meant by "service delivery models" and the group held extensive discussions about current practices to arrive at consensus of proposed definitions for current genetic service delivery models, modes of referral and components of service delivery. The major goal of these proposed definitions is to allow for conversations to begin to address the charge to the committee. We propose that current models of service delivery can be defined by: 1) the methods in which genetic counseling services are delivered (In-person, Telephone, Group and Telegenetics), 2) the way they are accessed by patients (Traditional referral, Tandem, Triage, Rescue and Self-referral) and 3) the variable components that depend upon multiple factors unique to each service setting. This report by the SDMTF provides a starting point whereby standardized terminology can be used in future studies that assess the effectiveness of these described models to overcome barriers to access to genetic counseling services.

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Workforce