Pretest Genetic Education Video Versus Genetic Counseling for Men Considering Prostate Cancer Germline Testing: A Patient-Choice Study to Address Urgent Practice Needs

JCO Precis Oncol. 2021 Sep 1;5:PO.21.00238. doi: 10.1200/PO.21.00238. eCollection 2021.


Purpose: Germline testing (GT) for prostate cancer (PCA) is now central to treatment and hereditary cancer assessment. With rising demand for and shortage of genetic counseling (GC), tools to deliver pretest informed consent across practice settings are needed to improve access to GT and precision care. Here, we report on Evaluation and Management for Prostate Oncology, Wellness, and Risk (EMPOWER), a patient-choice study for pretest video-based genetic education (VBGE) versus GC to inform urgent practice needs.

Patients and methods: Men with PCA or at risk for PCA (family history of PCA) were eligible and could choose pretest VBGE or GC. Outcomes included decisional conflict for GT, change in genetics knowledge, satisfaction, and intention to share results with family and/or providers. Descriptive statistics summarized results with counts and percentages for categorical variables and mean ± standard deviation for continuous variables. Data were compared with Fisher's exact, chi-squared, or Wilcoxon two-sample tests. Mean change in genetics knowledge was compared with t tests. The significance level was set a priori at .05.

Results: Data on the first 127 participants were analyzed. Characteristics were White (85.8%), bachelor's degree (66.9%), and PCA diagnosis (90.6%). The majority chose VBGE (71%) versus GC (29%; P < .001). No differences were observed in decisional conflict for GT or satisfaction. Cancer genetics knowledge improved in both groups without significant difference (+0.9 VBGE, +1.8 GC, P = .056). Men who chose VBGE had higher intention to share GT results (96.4% VBGE v 86.4% GC, P = .02). Both groups had high rates of GT uptake (VBGE 94.4%, GC 92%).

Conclusion: A substantial proportion of men opted for pretest VBGE, with comparable patient-reported outcomes and uptake of GT. The results support the use of pretest video to address the critical GC shortage in the precision era.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Genetic Counseling / methods
  • Genetic Counseling / psychology
  • Genetic Counseling / standards
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires