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Differential Use of Available Genetic Tests among Primary Care Physicians in the U.S.: Results of a National Survey

Harvard/MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities, Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.44). 07/2008; 10(6):404-14. DOI: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181770184
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study assesses primary care physicians' experience ordering and referring patients for genetic testing, and whether minority-serving physicians are less likely than those serving fewer minorities to offer such services.
Survey of a random sample of 2000 primary care physicians in the United States (n = 1120, 62.3% response rate based on eligible respondents) conducted in 2002 to assess what proportion have (1) ever ordered a genetic test in general or for select conditions; (2) ever referred a patient for genetic testing to a genetics center or counselor, a specialist, a clinical research trial, or to any site of care.
Nationally, 60% of primary care physicians have ordered a genetic test and 74% have referred a patient for genetic testing. Approximately 62% of physicians have referred a patient for genetic testing to a genetics center/counselor or to a specialist, and 17% to a clinical trial. Minority-serving physicians were significantly less likely to have ever ordered a genetic test for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or Huntington disease, or to have ever referred a patient for genetic testing relative to those serving fewer minorities.
Reduced utilization of genetic tests/referrals among minority-serving physicians emphasizes the importance of tracking the diffusion of genomic medicine and assessing the potential impact on health disparities.

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Available from: Douglas E Levy, Jul 25, 2014
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