Physician use of genetic testing for cancer susceptibility: results of a national survey.
ABSTRACT Genetic testing for inherited germ-line mutations associated with cancer susceptibility is an emerging technology in medical practice. Limited information is currently available about physician use of cancer susceptibility tests (CSTs). In 1999-2000, a nationally representative survey was conducted to estimate prevalence of CST use by United States physicians and assess demographic, training, practice setting, and practice patterns associated with use. A stratified random sample of clinicians in eight specialties was selected from a file of all licensed physicians. In total, 1251 physicians, including 820 in primary care and 431 in tertiary care, responded to a 15-min questionnaire by mail, telephone, fax, or Internet (response rate = 71.0%). In the previous 12 months, 31.2% [95% confidence interval (CI), 28.5-33.9] overall, including 30.6% (95% CI, 27.5-33.7) in primary care and 33.4% (95% CI, 27.9-38.9) in tertiary care, had ordered CSTs or referred patients elsewhere for risk assessment or testing. More physicians referred patients elsewhere [26.7% (95% CI, 24.2-29.2)] than directly ordered tests [7.9% (95% CI, 6.3-9.5)]. Factors associated with ordering or referring included practice location in the Northeast [odds ratio (OR), 2.30; 95% CI, 1.46-3.63%], feeling qualified to recommend CSTs (OR, 1.96; 95% CI = 1.41-2.72), receiving CST advertising materials (OR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.40-2.78%), and most notably, having patients who asked whether they can or should get tested (OR, 5.52; 95% CI, 3.97-7.67%). Lower CST use was associated with not knowing if there were local testing and counseling facilities (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.23-0.66%). These findings underscore the importance of establishing effective clinical approaches to test use and promoting physician education to facilitate communication with patients about cancer genetics.
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ABSTRACT: Although current practice guidelines do not recommend screening asymptomatic patients for lung cancer, physicians may still order lung cancer screening tests. No recent national survey of health care professionals has focused on lung cancer screening. In this study, we examined the lung cancer screening practices of US primary care physicians and characteristics of those who order lung cancer screening tests. We conducted a nationally representative survey of practicing primary care physicians in 2006-2007. Mailed questionnaires assessed the physicians' knowledge of lung cancer screening guidelines, beliefs about the effectiveness of screening tests, and ordering of screening chest radiograph, low-dose spiral computed tomography, or sputum cytology in the past 12 months. Clinical vignettes were used to assess the physicians' intentions to screen asymptomatic 50-year-old patients with varying smoking histories for lung cancer. A total of 962 family physicians, general practitioners, and general internists completed questionnaires (cooperation rate = 76.8%). Overall, 38% had ordered no lung cancer screening tests; 55% had ordered chest radiograph, 22% low-dose spiral computed tomography, and less than 5% sputum cytology. In multivariate modeling, physicians were more likely to have ordered lung cancer screening tests if they believed that expert groups recommend lung cancer screening or that screening tests are effective; if they would recommend screening for asymptomatic patients, including patients without substantial smoking exposure; and if their patients had asked them about screening. Primary care physicians in the United States frequently order lung cancer screening tests for asymptomatic patients, even though expert groups do not recommend it. Primary care physicians and patients need more information about lung cancer screening's evidence base, guidelines, potential harms, and costs to avert inappropriate ordering.The Annals of Family Medicine 03/2012; 10(2):102-10. · 4.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We are entering an era in which the cost of clinical whole-genome and targeted sequencing tests is no longer prohibitive to their application. However, currently the infrastructure is not in place to support both the patient and the physicians that encounter the resultant data. Here, we ask five experts to give their opinions on whether clinical data should be treated differently from other medical data, given the potential use of these tests, and on the areas that must be developed to improve patient outcome.Nature Reviews Genetics 11/2012; 13(11):818-24. · 41.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Practice changes in cancer genetic counseling have occurred to meet the demand for cancer genetic services. As cancer genetics continues to impact not only prevention strategies but also treatment decisions, current cancer genetic counseling models will need to be tailored to accommodate emerging clinical indications. These clinical indications include: surgical prophylactic bilateral mastectomy candidates, PARP-inhibitor candidates, patients with abnormal tumor screening results for Lynch syndrome, and post-test counseling patients (after genetic testing is ordered by another healthcare provider). A more personalized, multidisciplinary approach to selecting the best framework, for a given clinical indication, may become increasingly necessary in this era of personalized medicine.Familial Cancer 03/2012; · 1.94 Impact Factor