Educational needs and preferred methods of learning among Florida practitioners who order genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer

J Cancer Educ. 2013 Dec;28(4):690-7. doi: 10.1007/s13187-013-0525-6.


With the expansion of genetic testing options due to tremendous advances in sequencing technologies, testing will increasingly be offered by a variety of healthcare providers in diverse settings, as has been observed with BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA) gene testing over the last decade. In an effort to assess the educational needs and preferences of healthcare providers primarily in a community-based setting, we mailed a survey to healthcare providers across Florida who order BRCA testing. Within the packet, a supplemental card was included to give participants the opportunity to request free clinical educational resources from the investigative team. Of 81 eligible providers who completed the survey, most were physicians or nurse practitioners; and over 90 % worked in a community or private practice setting. Respondents provided BRCA testing services for a median of 5 years, but the majority (56 %) reported no formal training in clinical cancer genetics. Most respondents (95 %) expressed interest in formal training opportunities, with 3-day in-person weekend training representing the most highly preferred format. The most widely selected facilitators to participation were minimal requirement to take time off work and continuing education credits. Overall, 64 % of respondents requested free clinical educational resources. Preferences for informal education included written materials and in-person presentations; whereas accessing a DVD or website were less popular. Findings from our study highlight both the need for and interest in ongoing educational opportunities and resources among community providers who order BRCA testing. These results can be used to enhance participation of community-based providers in educational training programs by targeting educational resources to the most preferred format.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Testing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Medical Oncology / education*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*


  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA1 protein, human
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • BRCA2 protein, human