Health care professionals' attitudes towards population-based genetic testing and risk-stratification for ovarian cancer: a cross-sectional survey.
ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed at a late stage when outcomes are poor. Personalised ovarian cancer risk prediction, based on genetic and epidemiological information and risk stratified management in adult women could improve outcomes. Examining health care professionals' (HCP) attitudes to ovarian cancer risk stratified management, willingness to support women, self-efficacy (belief in one's own ability to successfully complete a task), and knowledge about ovarian cancer will help identify training needs in anticipation of personalised ovarian cancer risk prediction being introduced.An anonymous survey was distributed online to HCPs via relevant professional organisations in the UK. Kruskal-Wallis tests and pairwise comparisons were used to compare knowledge and self-efficacy scores between different types of HCPs, and attitudes toward population-based genetic testing and risk stratified management were described. Content analysis was undertaken of free text responses concerning HCPs willingness to discuss risk management options with women.One hundred forty-six eligible HCPs completed the survey: oncologists (31%); genetics clinicians (30%); general practitioners (22%); gynaecologists (10%); nurses (4%); and 'others'. Scores for knowledge of ovarian cancer and genetics, and self-efficacy in conducting a cancer risk consultation were generally high but significantly lower for general practitioners compared to genetics clinicians, oncologists, and gynaecologists. Support for population-based genetic testing was not high (<50%). Attitudes towards ovarian cancer risk stratification were mixed, although the majority of participants indicated a willingness to discuss management options with patients.Larger samples are required to investigate attitudes to population-based genetic testing for ovarian cancer risk and to establish why some HCPs are hesitant to offer testing to all adult female patients. If ovarian cancer risk assessment using genetic testing and non-genetic information including epidemiological information is rolled out on a population basis, training will be needed for HCPs in primary care to enable them to provide appropriate support to women at each stage of the process.
Project description:Few women with ovarian cancer undergo genetic testing for the Breast and Ovarian Cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. With the prospect of BRCA-directed therapeutics, we investigated ovarian cancer patients' knowledge and willingness to undergo genetic testing.All ovarian cancer patients seen in the Gynecology Center of a cancer center and a private clinic were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire regarding knowledge and willingness to undergo BRCA testing. Women who had prior genetic testing were asked not to participate. Data was analyzed using Fisher's exact test.Two-hundred and thirty seven ovarian cancer patients voluntarily completed the questionnaire. Fifty-five percent (131/237) of participants had not heard of BRCA testing. Of Caucasian respondents, 51% were unaware of BRCA testing, compared to 70% of Hispanic and 88% of African American respondents (p=0.008). Awareness was correlated with education (p<0.001). Eighty-nine percent of participants were willing to be tested if it would directly affect their therapy and 86.9% would be tested to benefit their family. Seventy-four percent of patients would pay 20% of the cost of testing, only 25.1% would pay in full.A majority of women with ovarian cancer are not aware of the availability of BRCA testing. This lack of awareness is more profound in minorities. Despite lack of knowledge, most patients would undergo testing if it would impact their care. However, cost may be a barrier. Given the willingness of patients to undergo testing and the possibility of targeted therapy, clinicians who care for these patients should work to make appropriate genetic counseling referrals.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Population-based risk assessment, using genetic testing and the provision of appropriate risk management, could lead to prevention, early detection and improved clinical management of ovarian cancer (OC). Previous research with mostly white British participants found positive attitudes towards such a programme. The current study aimed to explore the attitudes of South Asian (SA) women and men in the UK with the aim of identifying how best to implement such a programme to minimise distress and maximise uptake. DESIGN:Semistructured qualitative focus group discussions. SETTING:Community centres across North London and Luton. PARTICIPANTS:49 women and 13 men who identified as SA (Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi), which constitutes the largest non-European ethnic minority group in the UK. METHODS:Seven community-based focus groups were held. Group discussions were transcribed verbatim, coded and analysed thematically. RESULTS:Awareness and knowledge of OC symptoms and specific risk factors was low. The programme was acceptable to most participants and attitudes to it were generally positive. Participants' main concerns related to receiving a high-risk result following the genetic test. Younger women may be more cautious of genetic testing, screening or risk-reducing surgery due to the importance of marriage and childbearing in their SA cultures. CONCLUSIONS:A crucial first step to enable implementation of population-based genetic risk assessment and management in OC is to raise awareness of OC within SA communities. It will be important to engage with the SA community early on in programme implementation to address their specific concerns and to ensure culturally tailored decision support.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Medication errors (MEs) are largely under-reported, which undermines quality improvement and medication risk management in healthcare. OBJECTIVES:To assess attitudes of Ugandan healthcare professionals (HCPs) towards ME reporting, and identify characteristics of HCPs who endorsed integration of ME and adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting, valued patient involvement in ME reporting, disclosed having ever made potentially harmful MEs, or observed possibly harmful MEs committed by other HCPs. METHODS:Healthcare professionals self-completed a questionnaire on their attitudes towards the occurrence and reporting of MEs in purposively selected Ugandan health facilities (public/private) including the national referral and six regional referral hospitals representative of all regions. RESULTS:Response rate was 67 % (1345/2000). Most HCPs (91 %; 1174/1289) approved a national ME reporting system for Uganda and 58 % (734/1261) endorsed integration of ME and ADR reporting. Two-thirds (65 %; 819/1267) of HCPs valued patient involvement in ME reporting, one-fifth (18 %; 235/1310) disclosed that they had ever made potentially harmful MEs, while two-fifths (41 %; 542/1323) had ever identified possibly harmful MEs committed by other HCPs. Endorsing patient involvement in ME reporting was more likely by HCPs who valued root-cause analysis and reporting of both actual and potential MEs, or who conceded inadequate communication and lack of time. Self-disclosure of having ever committed potentially harmful MEs was more likely with the need for confidentiality, working in stressful conditions, and willingness to report ADRs. Identifying possibly harmful MEs committed by other HCPs was more likely by non-nurses and those who reported blame culture, stressful conditions, ever encountered a fatal ADR, or attachment to hospital-level health facility. CONCLUSION:A non-punitive healthcare environment and patient involvement may promote ME disclosure and reporting in Uganda and possibly other African countries.
Project description:Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has the potential to reduce HIV acquisition among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) in sub-Saharan Africa. However, health care providers' (HCPs) perspectives and interactions with potential clients can substantially influence effective provision of quality health services. We examine if HCPs' knowledge, attitude, and skills, as well as their perceptions of facility readiness to provide PrEP are associated with their willingness to provide PrEP to AGYW at high risk of HIV in Tanzania.A self-administered questionnaire was given to 316 HCPs from 74 clinics in two districts and 24 HCPs participated in follow-up in-depth interviews (IDIs). We conducted bivariate and multivariable Poisson regression to assess factors associated with willingness to provide PrEP to AGYW. Thematic content analysis was used to analyze the IDIs, which expanded upon the quantitative results.Few HCPs (3.5%) had prior PrEP knowledge, but once informed, 61.1% were willing to prescribe PrEP to AGYW. Higher negative attitudes toward adolescent sexuality and greater concerns about behavioral disinhibition due to PrEP use were associated with lower willingness to prescribe PrEP. Qualitatively, HCPs acknowledged that biases, rooted in cultural norms, often result in stigmatizing and discriminatory care toward AGYW, a potential barrier for PrEP provision. However, better training to provide HIV services was associated with greater willingness to prescribe PrEP. Conversely, HCPs feared the potential negative impact of PrEP on the provision of existing HIV services (e.g., overburdened staff), and suggested the integration of PrEP into non-HIV services and the use of paramedical professionals to facilitate PrEP provision.Preparing for PrEP introduction requires more than solely training HCPs on the clinical aspects of providing PrEP. It requires a two-pronged strategy: addressing HCPs' biases regarding sexual health services to AGYW; and preparing the health system infrastructure for the introduction of PrEP.
Project description:Inherited cardiac conditions (ICCs) can lead to sudden cardiac death at young age, even without previous symptoms, yet often remain undetected. To prevent sudden cardiac death, cardiac monitoring and/or predictive DNA testing is advised for at-risk relatives. Probands in whom a causal variant is detected are asked to inform their relatives about the possibility of testing, often supported by a family letter. This qualitative study investigates experiences with and attitudes toward this family-mediated approach in ICCs and explores whether and how improvements can be made. Two online focus groups were conducted with 28 healthcare professionals (HCPs) from various disciplines, as were 25 face-to-face semi-structured interviews with counselees (10 probands; 15 relatives). Data were analysed by two researchers independently using a thematic approach. Participants, both HCPs and counselees, preferred that probands inform relatives about genetic risks in ICCs, but both groups struggled with the dependency on and burden on probands to inform their relatives. To overcome this, HCPs do see a more active role for themselves in informing relatives, but prefer uniformity in procedures in order to maintain their workload. Counselees, on the other hand, prefer a tailored information provision strategy adjusted to family dynamics and the personality characteristics of relatives. In conclusion, although it is generally preferred that probands inform relatives themselves, a more active role of HCPs could be considered to overcome the dependency and burden on probands. Further research is needed to study how HCPs can engage more actively in informing at-risk relatives in current clinical genetic practise.
Project description:The number of cases of aggressive prostate cancer is increasing. Differentiating between aggressive and indolent cases has resulted in increased difficulty for the physician and patient to decide on the best treatment option. Due to this challenge, efforts are underway to profile genetic risk for prostate cancer aggressiveness, which may help physicians and patients at risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer to select an appropriate treatment option. This study explores patients' interest in receiving genetic results, preference for how genetic risk information should be communicated, and willingness to share results with adult male first-degree relatives (FDRs). A nine-item survey was adapted to assess their beliefs and attitudes about genetic testing for prostate cancer aggressiveness. In addition, participants (n = 50) responded to hypothetical scenarios and questions associated with perceived importance of risk disclosure, preferences for receiving genetic risk information, and sharing of results with FDRs. As the hypothetical risk estimate for aggressive prostate cancer increased, patients' willingness to receive genetic risk information increased. This study found that most patients preferred receiving genetic risk education in the form of a DVD (76%), one-page informational sheet (75%), or educational booklet (70%). Almost all patients (98%) reported that they would be willing to share their test results with FDRs. The results of this study highlight prostate cancer patients' desire to receive and share genetic risk information. Future research should focus on assessing the long-term benefits of receiving genetic information for prostate cancer patients and implications of sharing this information with FDRs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Breast, colorectal, ovarian, and endometrial cancers constitute approximately 30% of newly diagnosed cancer cases in Switzerland, affecting more than 12,000 individuals annually. Hundreds of these patients are likely to carry germline pathogenic variants associated with hereditary breast ovarian cancer (HBOC) or Lynch syndrome (LS). Genetic services (counseling and testing) for hereditary susceptibility to cancer can prevent many cancer diagnoses and deaths through early identification and risk management. OBJECTIVE:Cascade screening is the systematic identification and testing of relatives of a known mutation carrier. It determines whether asymptomatic relatives also carry the known variant, needing management options to reduce future harmful outcomes. Specific aims of the CASCADE study are to (1) survey index cases with HBOC or LS from clinic-based genetic testing records and determine their current cancer status and surveillance practices, needs for coordination of medical care, psychosocial needs, patient-provider and patient-family communication, quality of life, and willingness to serve as advocates for cancer genetic services to blood relatives, (2) survey first- and second-degree relatives and first-cousins identified from pedigrees or family history records of HBOC and LS index cases and determine their current cancer and mutation status, cancer surveillance practices, needs for coordination of medical care, barriers and facilitators to using cancer genetic services, psychosocial needs, patient-provider and patient-family communication, quality of life, and willingness to participate in a study designed to increase use of cancer genetic services, and (3) explore the influence of patient-provider communication about genetic cancer risk on patient-family communication and the acceptability of a family-based communication, coping, and decision support intervention with focus group(s) of mutation carriers and relatives. METHODS:CASCADE is a longitudinal study using surveys (online or paper/pencil) and focus groups, designed to elicit factors that enhance cascade genetic testing for HBOC and LS in Switzerland. Repeated observations are the optimal way for assessing these outcomes. Focus groups will examine barriers in patient-provider and patient-family communication, and the acceptability of a family-based communication, coping, and decision-support intervention. The survey will be developed in English, translated into three languages (German, French, and Italian), and back-translated into English, except for scales with validated versions in these languages. RESULTS:Descriptive analyses will include calculating means, standard deviations, frequencies, and percentages of variables and participant descriptors. Bivariate analyses (Pearson correlations, chi-square test for differences in proportions, and t test for differences in means) will assess associations between demographics and clinical characteristics. Regression analyses will incorporate generalized estimating equations for pairing index cases with their relatives and explore whether predictors are in direct, mediating, or moderating relationship to an outcome. Focus group data will be transcribed verbatim and analyzed for common themes. CONCLUSIONS:Robust evidence from basic science and descriptive population-based studies in Switzerland support the necessity of cascade screening for genetic predisposition to HBOC and LS. CASCADE is designed to address translation of this knowledge into public health interventions. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03124212; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03124212 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6tKZnNDBt).
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To describe obstetrical providers' delivery preferences and attitudes towards caesarean section without medical indication, including on maternal request, and to examine the association between provider characteristics and preferences/attitudes. DESIGN:Cross-sectional study. SETTING:Two public and two private hospitals in Argentina. POPULATION:Obstetrician-gynaecologists and midwives who provide prenatal care and/or labour/delivery services. METHODS:Providers in hospitals with at least 1000 births per year completed a self-administered, anonymous survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Provider delivery preference for low-risk women, perception of women's preferred delivery method, support for a woman's right to choose her delivery method and willingness to perform caesarean section on maternal request. RESULTS:168 providers participated (89.8% coverage rate). Providers (93.2%) preferred a vaginal delivery for their patients in the absence of a medical indication for caesarean section. Whereas 74.4% of providers supported their patient's right to choose a delivery method in the absence of a medical indication for caesarean section and 66.7% would perform a caesarean section upon maternal request, only 30.4% would consider a non-medically indicated caesarean section for their own personal delivery or that of their partner. In multivariate adjusted analysis, providers in the private sector [odds ratio (OR) 4.70, 95% CI 1.19-18.62] and obstetrician-gynaecologists (OR 4.37, 95% CI 1.58-12.09) were more willing than either providers working in the public/both settings or midwives to perform a caesarean section on maternal request. CONCLUSIONS:Despite the ethical debate surrounding non-medically indicated caesarean sections, we observe very high levels of support, especially by providers in the private sector and obstetrician-gynaecologists, as aligned with the high caesarean section rates in Argentina. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT:Non-medically indicated c-section? 74% of sampled Argentine OB providers support women's right to choose.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To develop a generic scale for assessing attitudes towards genetic testing and to psychometrically assess these attitudes in the context of BRCA1/2 among a sample of French general practitioners, breast specialists and gyneco-obstetricians. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:Nested within the questionnaire developed for the European InCRisC (International Cancer Risk Communication Study) project were 14 items assessing expected benefits (8 items) and drawbacks (6 items) of the process of breast/ovarian genetic cancer testing (BRCA1/2). Another item assessed agreement with the statement that, overall, the expected health benefits of BRCA1/2 testing exceeded its drawbacks, thereby justifying its prescription. The questionnaire was mailed to a sample of 1,852 French doctors. Of these, 182 breast specialists, 275 general practitioners and 294 gyneco-obstetricians completed and returned the questionnaire to the research team. Principal Component Analysis, Cronbach's ? coefficient, and Pearson's correlation coefficients were used in the statistical analyses of collected data. RESULTS:Three dimensions emerged from the respondents' responses, and were classified under the headings: "Anxiety, Conflict and Discrimination", "Risk Information", and "Prevention and Surveillance". Cronbach's ? coefficient for the 3 dimensions was 0.79, 0.76 and 0.62, respectively, and each dimension exhibited strong correlation with the overall indicator of agreement (criterion validity). CONCLUSIONS:The validation process of the 15 items regarding BRCA1/2 testing revealed satisfactory psychometric properties for the creation of a new scale entitled the Attitudes Towards Genetic Testing for BRCA1/2 (ATGT-BRCA1/2) Scale. Further testing is required to confirm the validity of this tool which could be used generically in other genetic contexts.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Arab population in Israel is a minority ethnic group with its own distinct cultural subgroups. Minority populations are known to underutilize genetic tests and counseling services, thereby undermining the effectiveness of these services among such populations. However, the general and culture-specific reasons for this underutilization are not well defined. Moreover, Arab populations and their key cultural-religious subsets (Muslims, Christians, and Druze) do not reside exclusively in Israel, but are rather found as a minority group in many European and North American countries. Therefore, focusing on the Arab population in Israel allows for the examination of attitudes regarding genetic testing and counseling among this globally important ethnic minority population. METHODS:We used a qualitative research method, employing individual interviews with 18 women of childbearing age from three religious subgroups (i.e., Druze, Muslim, and Christian) who reside in the Acre district, along with focus group discussions with healthcare providers (HCPs; 9 nurses and 7 genetic counselors) working in the same geographical district. RESULTS:A general lack of knowledge regarding the goals and practice of genetic counseling resulting in negative preconceptions of genetic testing was identified amongst all counselees. Counselors' objective of respecting patient autonomy in decision-making, together with counselees' misunderstanding of genetic risk data, caused uncertainty, frustration, and distrust. In addition, certain interesting variations were found between the different religious subgroups regarding their attitudes to genetic counseling. CONCLUSIONS:The study highlights the miscommunications between HCPs, particularly counselors from the majority ethno-cultural group, and counselees from a minority ethno-cultural group. The need for nuanced understanding of the complex perspectives of minority ethno-cultural groups is also emphasized. Such an understanding may enhance the effectiveness of genetic testing and counseling among the Arab minority group while also genuinely empowering the personal autonomy of counselees from this minority group in Israel and other countries.