Pre-test genetic counseling services for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer delivered by non-genetics professionals in the state of Florida

Clin Genet. 2015 May;87(5):473-7. doi: 10.1111/cge.12405. Epub 2014 May 9.

Abstract

Genetic counseling and testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer now includes practitioners from multiple healthcare professions, specialties, and settings. This study examined whether non-genetics professionals (NGPs) perform guideline-based patient intake and informed consent before genetic testing. NGPs offering BRCA testing services in Florida (n = 386) were surveyed about clinical practices. Among 81 respondents (response rate = 22%), approximately half reported: sometimes scheduling a separate session for pre-test counseling lasting 11-30 min prior to testing, discussing familial implications of testing, benefits and limitations of risk management options, and discussing the potential psychological impact and insurance-related issues. Few constructed a three-generation pedigree, discussed alternative hereditary cancer syndromes, or the meaning of a variant result. This lack of adherence to guideline-based practice may result in direct harm to patients and their family members. NGPs who are unable to deliver guideline adherent cancer genetics services should focus on identification and referral of at-risk patients to in person or telephone services provided by genetics professionals.

Keywords: BRCA; genetic counseling; genetic testing; hereditary breast and ovarian cancer; non-genetics professionals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Genetic Counseling*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Health Personnel*
  • Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Professional Competence

Substances

  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA2 Protein