Br J Gen Pract. 2018 Dec 3. pii: bjgp18X700265. doi: 10.3399/bjgp18X700265. [Epub ahead of print]
Genetic cancer risk assessment in general practice: systematic review of tools available, clinician attitudes, and patient outcomes.
A growing demand for cancer genetic services has led to suggestions for the involvement of GPs. How, and in which conditions, they can be involved, and whether there are important barriers to implementation should be ascertained.
To review the tools available, clinician attitudes and experiences, and the effects on patients of genetic cancer risk assessment in general practice.
DESIGN AND SETTING:
Systematic review of papers published worldwide between 1996 and 2017.
The MEDLINE (via Ovid), EMBASE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and PsycINFO databases and grey literature were searched for entries dating from January 1996 to December 2017. Study quality was assessed with relevant Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool checklists and a narrative synthesis of findings was conducted.
In total, 40 studies were included in the review. A variety of testing and screening tools were available for genetic cancer risk assessment in general practice, principally for breast, breast-ovarian, and colorectal cancer risk. GPs often reported low knowledge and confidence to engage with genetic cancer risk assessment; however, despite time pressures and concerns about confidentiality and the impact of results on family members, some recognised the potential importance relating to such a development of the GP's role. Studies found few reported benefits for patients. Concerns about negative impacts on patient anxiety and cancer worries were largely not borne out.
GPs may have a potential role in identifying patients at risk of hereditary cancer that can be facilitated by family-history tools. There is currently insufficient evidence to support the implementation of population-wide screening for genetic cancer risk, especially given the competing demands of general practice.
© British Journal of General Practice 2018.
cancer risk assessment; clinician’s attitude; general practice; genetic counselling; psychology; systematic review; tool