Increasing Utilization of Cancer Genetic Counseling Services Using a Patient Navigator Model
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Rahm, A., Sukhanova, A., Ellis, J. et al. J Genet Counsel (2007) 16: 171. doi:10.1007/s10897-006-9051-6
- 212 Downloads
Rarely has utilization of genetic counseling for Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) been studied separately from utilization of testing. At Kaiser Permanente Colorado, consistently only 30% of all members referred for HBOC attend genetic counseling. To increase the volume of genetic counseling appointments, a patient navigator approach was pilot tested in a randomized-controlled trial over 3 months. A total of 125 members were referred for HBOC genetic counseling (55 randomized to PN, 70 randomized to usual care). Utilization of referrals for Navigator-assisted members was 44%, compared to 31% in the usual care arm (p=0.16). The patient navigator significantly decreased time to appointment, with over 80% of Navigator-assisted members seen for genetic counseling less than three months from referral date, compared to 32% in usual care (p=0.002). patient navigator assistance shortens time from referral to appointment for HBOC genetic counseling, and may increase utilization of such services.