Primary care physicians' knowledge and attitudes towards genetic testing for breast-ovarian cancer predisposition

Citation
M. Escher et Ap. Sappino, Primary care physicians' knowledge and attitudes towards genetic testing for breast-ovarian cancer predisposition, ANN ONCOL, 11(9), 2000, pp. 1131-1135
Citations number
37
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Oncology,"Onconogenesis & Cancer Research
Journal title
ANNALS OF ONCOLOGY
ISSN journal
0923-7534 → ACNP
Volume
11
Issue
9
Year of publication
2000
Pages
1131 - 1135
Database
ISI
SICI code
0923-7534(200009)11:9<1131:PCPKAA>2.0.ZU;2-L
Abstract
Background: Primary health care providers are expected to be directly invol ved in the genetic testing for cancer susceptibility. This study assessed p hysicians' knowledge, attitude and perception of their role towards testing for hereditary breast-ovarian cancer. Design: A mail-in survey was sent to all general practitioners, internists, obstetrician-gynecologists and oncologists in private practice in Geneva c ounty, Switzerland. Questions included socio-demographic variables, knowled ge about hereditary breast-ovarian cancer, attitude towards testing and ass essment of their role in the pre- and post-test procedure. Results: Two hundred fifty-nine (65%) of four hundred questionnaires were r eturned of which two hundred forty-three (61%) were analysed. Response rate s were similar between specialties; women answered more frequently. The maj ority of the respondents (87%) approved of genetic susceptibility testing. The most common objection to testing was the absence of approved strategies for the prevention and detection of early breast cancer. Most physicians f elt they had an active part to play in the pre-test procedure, the disclosu re of results, and especially the consultants' long-term care and support ( 99%). Physicians correctly answered a third (32%) of the knowledge question s. The abstention rate for individual items ranged from 13% to 60%. Scores varied by specialty. Oncologists were more knowledgeable than gynecologists , internists and general practitioners. Conclusions: The majority of the primary care physicians in this study have a favourable attitude and are ready to play a prominent role in genetic co unseling and testing for breast-ovarian cancer predisposition. Defective kn owledge scores, however, underline the need for targeted educational progra ms.