Acceptability of telemedicine and other cancer genetic counseling models of service delivery in geographically remote settings

J Genet Couns. 2014 Apr;23(2):221-8. doi: 10.1007/s10897-013-9652-9. Epub 2013 Sep 8.


This work examined acceptability of cancer genetic counseling models of service delivery among Maine residents at risk for hereditary cancer susceptibility disorders. Pre-counseling, participants ranked characteristics reflecting models of care from most to least important including: mode-of-communication (in-person versus telegenetics), provider level of training (genetic specialty versus some training/experience), delivery format (one-on-one versus group counseling), and location (local versus tertiary service requiring travel). Associations between models of care characteristic rankings and patient characteristics, including rural residence, perceived cancer risk, and perceived risk for a hereditary cancer risk susceptibility disorder were examined. A total of 149/300 (49.7% response rate) individuals from 11/16 Maine counties responded; 30.8% were from rural counties; 92.2% indicated that an important/the most important model of care characteristic is provider professional qualifications. Among other characteristics, 65.1% ranked one-on-one counseling as important/the most important. In-person and local counseling were ranked the two least important characteristics (51.8% and 52.1% important/the most important, respectively). Responses did not vary by patient characteristics with the exception of greater acceptance of group counseling among those at perceived high personal cancer risk. Cancer telegenetic services hold promise for access to expert providers in a one-on-one format for rurally remote clients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Humans
  • Maine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Telemedicine*