Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 221–228 | Cite as

Acceptability of Telemedicine and Other Cancer Genetic Counseling Models of Service Delivery in Geographically Remote Settings

  • Eileen McDonald
  • Amanda Lamb
  • Barbara Grillo
  • Lee Lucas
  • Susan Miesfeldt
Original Research


This work examined acceptability of cancer genetic counseling models of service delivery among Maine residents at risk for hereditary cancer susceptibility disorders. Pre-counseling, participants ranked characteristics reflecting models of care from most to least important including: mode-of-communication (in-person versus telegenetics), provider level of training (genetic specialty versus some training/experience), delivery format (one-on-one versus group counseling), and location (local versus tertiary service requiring travel). Associations between models of care characteristic rankings and patient characteristics, including rural residence, perceived cancer risk, and perceived risk for a hereditary cancer risk susceptibility disorder were examined. A total of 149/300 (49.7 % response rate) individuals from 11/16 Maine counties responded; 30.8 % were from rural counties; 92.2 % indicated that an important/the most important model of care characteristic is provider professional qualifications. Among other characteristics, 65.1 % ranked one-on-one counseling as important/the most important. In-person and local counseling were ranked the two least important characteristics (51.8 % and 52.1 % important/the most important, respectively). Responses did not vary by patient characteristics with the exception of greater acceptance of group counseling among those at perceived high personal cancer risk. Cancer telegenetic services hold promise for access to expert providers in a one-on-one format for rurally remote clients.


Cancer genetic counseling Disparities Models of service delivery Telegenetics Rural 



We thank Norma Albrecht, Kathy J. Goodwin, Roxanne M. Kenerson, Cynthia K. McDonough, and Heather M. Smith for their technical assistance. This project was funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. HHSN261200800001E. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Disclosure of Interest

The authors have no actual or potential conflict of interest. They have full control of all primary data and agree to allow the journal to review their data, if requested.


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eileen McDonald
    • 1
  • Amanda Lamb
    • 2
  • Barbara Grillo
    • 2
  • Lee Lucas
    • 3
  • Susan Miesfeldt
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.MaineHealthPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Maine Medical Center Cancer InstituteScarboroughUSA
  3. 3.Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Maine Medical Center Research InstitutePortlandUSA

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