Evaluating genetic counselling models of care for women at low or moderate risk of breast cancer

Mrs Skye McKay1, Edwina Middleton2, Ashley Crook1, Stephanie White1, Dr Mathilda Wilding1, Kate Dunlop2, Dr Michael Field1

1NSLHD Familial Cancer Service, St Leonards, Australia, 2Centre for Genetics Education, St Leonards, Australia

The increasing availability of genomic technologies and increased patient awareness has resulted in a higher demand for genetic counsellors in Australia and internationally. Genetic counsellors, tasked with addressing individual and family concerns about genetic risk, have been defined by the Ministry of Health NSW as a “small but critical workforce”. Furthermore, the ‘Angelina Jolie’ effect has resulted in a sustained increase in referrals to genetic services for unaffected women at low to moderate risk of breast cancer since 2013 where genetic testing is unlikely to provide an accurate estimation of their risk. New models of genetic counselling service delivery are needed to address this resource issue. The NSLHD Familial Cancer Service is evaluating two models of care for women at low or moderate risk of breast cancer; group education seminars (GES) and a genetic counsellor-led intake clinic. This pilot study evaluates the strengths and limitations of each model by measuring patient satisfaction, changes in knowledge, anxiety and perceived risk using validated surveys pre- and post- appointment. Recruitment is ongoing, however preliminary data from the GES clinic suggests that individual’s information needs are being met, while decreasing the experience of negative emotions. Perceived breast cancer risk appears to be inconsistent with empirical risk and further analysis is required. Findings may have implications for service delivery in Familial Cancer Services in Australia and internationally.

Biography: To be confirmed

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