Stakeholders' views of integrating universal tumour screening and genetic testing for colorectal and endometrial cancer into routine oncology

Eur J Hum Genet. 2021 Nov;29(11):1634-1644. doi: 10.1038/s41431-021-00871-4. Epub 2021 Apr 2.


Mainstream genetic testing in routine oncology care requires implementation research to inform intervention design. In Australia, funding is available for oncology health professionals (OHP) to organise genetic testing (GT) for eligible colorectal and endometrial cancer patients as part of their routine care. To assess the health system ability to incorporate this practice change, we conducted an implementation survey using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). The online survey was available from April to September 2020 to OHP and genetic health professional (GHP). In total, 198 respondents attempted the survey, with 158 completed and 27 partial responses: 26% were GHP, 66% OHP and 8% pathologists. Of all responders, 50% were female, mainly practicing in public hospital settings (57%) in an urban location (80%) and with an 18-60 years plus age range. The majority of respondents saw the relative advantage of aligning GT to abnormal universal tumour screening (UTS) results, with 77% of GHP and 78% of OHP agreeing it would streamline care for patients. There was disagreement across healthcare professional groups about knowledge and self-efficacy, with 45% of GHP not viewing oncologists as 'feeling confident' to use genetic test results for treatment management decisions, while 62% of OHP felt confident in their ability. Both OHP and GHP's indicated embedding a genetic counsellor in oncology or having a genetics point of contact to support integrating of GT through UTS as favourable interventions. Implementation research findings allow for the design of targeted interventions and a model for GT integration into oncology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Stakeholder Participation