Clinical Edge

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BRCA Genetic Testing and Counseling

Measuring utilization and outcomes

Most US women undergoing BRCA genetic testing do not receive genetic counseling, despite improved patient knowledge and satisfaction among patients who receive this service via a genetics clinician, according to a study of 3,628 women in the American BRCA Outcomes and Utilization of Testing (ABOUT) Study. Lack of physician recommendation was cited as the most commonly reported reason. The study found:

• 5.3% of participants receiving comprehensive testing were identified with mutations.

• Only 36.8% of participants reported receiving genetic counseling from a genetics clinician prior to testing; the lowest rates (12.3%) were among patients of OBGYNs.

• Those who received genetic counseling demonstrated greater knowledge about BRCA and expressed greater understanding and satisfaction.

Citation: Armstrong J, Toscano M, Kotchko N, et al. Utilization and outcomes of BRCA genetic testing and counseling in a national commercially insured population: The ABOUT study. [Published online ahead of print October 1, 2015]. JAMA Oncol. doi: jamaoncol.2015.3048.