PCPs Reluctant to Offer Genetics Services to Patients

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PCPs Reluctant to Offer Genetics Services to Patients
PCPs Reluctant to Offer Genetics Services to Patients

(HealthDay News) — Primary care providers (PCPs) perceive multiple barriers to provision of genetics services for their patients, according to research published online September 11 in Genetics in Medicine.

Natalie A. Mikat-Stevens, MPH, of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Elk Grove Village, IL, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the literature to identify barriers to the provision of genetics services as perceived by PCPs.

The researchers found 38 articles, published between 2001–2012, that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the review. Based on these articles, 311 unique barriers were identified and classified into 38 categories across the following four themes: knowledge and skills; ethical, legal, and social implications; health-care systems; and scientific evidence. The barriers to providing genetics services that were most frequently cited by PCPs included lack of knowledge about genetics and genetic risk assessment, concerns about patient anxiety, lack of access to genetics, and lack of time.

"Increasingly, PCPs will need to assume a greater responsibility in genetics medicine for the anticipatory guidance and disease prevention that lie within their purview," the authors write. "Addressing the barriers discussed herein is a first step toward realizing this goal."

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