Primary Care Physicians’ Experience and Confidence with Genetic Testing and Perceived Barriers to Genomic Medicine
Purpose: Genetic testing is progressing towards use of patients’ genomes for personalized medicine. Primary care physicians (PCPs) may use genetic tests to screen and assess risk. However, PCPs’ current preparedness for the expanding integration of genetics into practice is uncharacterized. We examined primary care physicians’ perceptions of and experience with genetic testing. Methods: An anonymous survey was mailed to PCPs across three regional health networks querying opinions of, experience with, confidence in, and perceived barriers to genetic testing. Results: The survey response rate was 37.8%. Respondents believed learning about new genetic advances was important to clinical practice (67.0%). A minority (19.0%) had ordered genetic testing in six months, with cancer risk testing the most frequently ordered. Respondents were not confident in the skills required for using genetic testing in practice. Few respondents felt that they had time to counsel about genetic risk (9.5%) or that most patients could comprehend the concept of risk (27.0%). Conclusions: Primary care physicians had a high opinion of using genetic testing in medicine, but reported little experience or confidence incorporating genetic testing into practice. A majority perceived time constraints and patient comprehension as barriers. These data demonstrate a need for genetics educational resources for physicians and patients.
Published In/Presented At
Chambers CV, Axell-House DB, Mills G, Bittner-Fagan H, Rosenthal MP, Johnson M and Stello B. Primary Care Physicians’ Experience and Confidence with Genetic Testing and Perceived Barriers to Genomic Medicine. J Fam Med. 2015;2(2): 1024.
Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Family Medicine, Department of Family Medicine Faculty