Assessment of provider-perceived barriers to clinical use of pharmacogenomics during participation in an institutional implementation study

Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2019 Feb;29(2):31-38. doi: 10.1097/FPC.0000000000000362.


Objective: The objective of this study was to study provider attitudes of and perceived barriers to the clinical use of pharmacogenomics before and during participation in an implementation program.

Participants and methods: From 2012 to 2017, providers were recruited. After completing semistructured interviews (SSIs) about pharmacogenomics, providers received training on and access to a clinical decision support tool housing patient-specific pharmacogenomic results. Thematic analysis of SSI was conducted (inter-rater reliability κ≥0.75). Providers also completed surveys before and during study participation, and provider-perceived barriers to pharmacogenomic implementation were analyzed.

Results: Seven themes emerged from the SSI (listed from most frequent to least): decision-making, concerns with pharmacogenomic adoption, outcome expectancy, provider knowledge of pharmacogenomics, patient attitudes, individualized treatment, and provider interest in pharmacogenomics. Although there was prestudy enthusiasm among all providers, concerns with clinical utility, time, results accession, and knowledge of pharmacogenomics were frequently stated at baseline. Despite this, adoption of pharmacogenomics was robust, as patient-specific results were accessed at 64% of visits, and medication changes were influenced by provided pharmacogenomic information 42% of the time. Providers reported they had enough time to evaluate the information and the results were easily understood on 74 and 98% of surveys, respectively. Nevertheless, providers consistently felt there was insufficient pharmacogenomic information for most drugs they prescribed and clear guidelines for using pharmacogenomic information were lacking.

Conclusion: Despite initial concerns about adequate time and knowledge for adoption, providers frequently utilized pharmacogenomic results. Provider-perceived barriers to wider use included lack of clear guidelines and evidence for most drugs, highlighting important considerations for the field of pharmacogenomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Decision-Making*
  • Genome, Human / drug effects*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Pharmacogenetics*
  • Pharmacogenomic Testing
  • Precision Medicine
  • Surveys and Questionnaires