, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 673-679
Date: 17 Jun 2011

Communication of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic test results to health care providers following genetic testing at a tertiary care center

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Individuals at high risk for hereditary cancers often receive genetic counseling and testing at tertiary care centers; however, they may receive care for long-term management of their cancer risk in community settings. Communication of genetic test results to health care providers outside of tertiary care settings can facilitate the long-term management of high risk individuals. This study assessed women’s communication of BRCA1/BRCA2 genetic test results to health care providers outside of tertiary care settings (termed “outside” health care providers, or OHCPs) and women’s perceptions regarding communication of results. Women (n = 312) who underwent BRCA1/BRCA2 genetic counseling and testing completed a questionnaire assessing whether or not they shared test results with OHCPs and perceptions regarding the communication of test results to OHCPs. Most (72%) shared genetic test results with OHCPs. Women with no personal history of cancer were more likely to have shared results compared to women with a personal history of cancer. Mutation status did not significantly predict sharing of genetic information. Most reported positive perceptions regarding the disclosure of genetic test results to OHCPs. The majority did not report any concerns about potential insurance discrimination (88%) and indicated that OHCPs were able to appropriately address their questions (81%). Although most women shared their genetic test results with OHCPs, those with a personal history of cancer may need further encouragement to share this information. Tertiary care centers should facilitate outreach and education with OHCPs in order to assure appropriate long-term cancer risk management for high risk populations.