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Genet Med. 2008 Jun;10(6):404-14. doi: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181770184.

Differential use of available genetic tests among primary care physicians in the United States: results of a national survey.

Author information

  • 1Harvard/MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities, Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. ashields@partners.org

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study assesses primary care physicians' experience ordering and referring patients for genetic testing, and whether minority-serving physicians are less likely than those serving fewer minorities to offer such services.

METHODS:

Survey of a random sample of 2000 primary care physicians in the United States (n = 1120, 62.3% response rate based on eligible respondents) conducted in 2002 to assess what proportion have (1) ever ordered a genetic test in general or for select conditions; (2) ever referred a patient for genetic testing to a genetics center or counselor, a specialist, a clinical research trial, or to any site of care.

RESULTS:

Nationally, 60% of primary care physicians have ordered a genetic test and 74% have referred a patient for genetic testing. Approximately 62% of physicians have referred a patient for genetic testing to a genetics center/counselor or to a specialist, and 17% to a clinical trial. Minority-serving physicians were significantly less likely to have ever ordered a genetic test for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or Huntington disease, or to have ever referred a patient for genetic testing relative to those serving fewer minorities.

CONCLUSIONS:

Reduced utilization of genetic tests/referrals among minority-serving physicians emphasizes the importance of tracking the diffusion of genomic medicine and assessing the potential impact on health disparities.

PMID:
18496223
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2764316
Free PMC Article
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