GP attitudes to and expectations for providing personal genomic risk information to the public: a qualitative study

Genomic information can inform disease risk assessment, personalised prevention and risk-stratified screening. Communicating genomic risk information to patients is anticipated to become a role in primary care however, there is limited research evidence to guide this process. In this study, 22 Australian GPs were given a booklet containing their patients’ genomic risk of melanoma. Subsequent interviews explored their attitude towards communicating genomic risk information and the resources required to support the process. The study found that GPs view genomic-based risk as a disease risk factor which could be utilised in overall disease assessment, disease prevention and early detection. Furthermore, GPs believe it is crucial that patients understand their genomic risk and do not experience adverse psychological responses. They recommend a shared decision-making approach between GPs and patients to guide the testing process. Additionally, GPs identified resources to support this process: clinical practice guidelines for genomic risk assessment and patient management; point-of-care resources; and risk prediction tools incorporating both genomic and traditional risk factors. Going forth, these finding will inform the development of resources and strateiges to prepare GPs for the management and implementation of genomic risk information in practice.

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