J Genet Couns. 2014 Aug 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Use of a Patient-Entered Family Health History Tool with Decision Support in Primary Care: Impact of Identification of Increased Risk Patients on Genetic Counseling Attendance.
Several barriers inhibit collection and use of detailed family health history (FHH) in primary care. MeTree, a computer-based FHH intake and risk assessment tool with clinical decision support, was developed to overcome these barriers. Here, we describe the impact of MeTree on genetic counseling (GC) referrals and attendance. Non-adopted, English speaking adults scheduled for a well-visit in two community-based primary-care clinics were invited to participate in an Implementation-Effectiveness study of MeTree. Participants' demographic characteristics and beliefs were assessed at baseline. Immediately after an appointment with a patient for whom GC was recommended, clinicians indicated whether they referred the patient and, if not, why. The study genetic counselor kept a database of patients with a GC recommendation and contacted those with a referral. Of 542 patients completing MeTree, 156 (29 %) received a GC recommendation. Of these, 46 % (n = 72) were referred and 21 % (n = 33) underwent counseling. Patient preferences, additional clinical information unavailable to MeTree, and an incomplete clinician evaluation of the FHH accounted for the 85 patients clinicians chose not to refer. Although MeTree identified a significant proportion of patients for whom GC was recommended, persistent barriers indicate the need for improved referral processes and patient and physician education about the benefits of GC.
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