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J Community Genet. 2019 Jan 8. doi: 10.1007/s12687-018-00404-5. [Epub ahead of print]

Factors influencing use of telegenetic counseling: perceptions of health care professionals in Sweden.

Author information

1
Centre for Rare Diseases in Southeast Region of Sweden, Linköping University, 58185, Linköping, Sweden. rebecka.pestoff@regionostergotland.se.
2
Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. rebecka.pestoff@regionostergotland.se.
3
Department of Genetics, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. rebecka.pestoff@regionostergotland.se.
4
Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden.
5
Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden.
6
Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
7
Centre for Rare Diseases in Southeast Region of Sweden, Linköping University, 58185, Linköping, Sweden.
8
Department of Genetics, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
9
Department of Clinical and Experimental Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

Abstract

Genetic counseling services are increasing in demand and limited in access due to barriers such as lack of professional genetic counselors, vast geographic distances, and physical hurdles. This research focuses on an alternative mode of delivery for genetic counseling in Sweden, in order to overcome some of the mentioned barriers. The aim of this study is to identify factors that influence the implementation and use of telegenetic counseling in clinical practice, according to health care professionals in Southeast Sweden. Telegenetic counseling refers to the use of video-conferencing as a means to provide genetic counseling. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 16 genetic counseling providers took place and phenomenographic analysis was applied. Significant excerpts were identified in each transcript, which led to sub-categories that constructed the main findings. Three categories emerged from the data: (1) requirements for optimal use, (2) impact on clinical practice, and (3) patient benefits. Each category consists of two or three sub-categories, in total seven sub-categories. These findings could potentially be used to improve access and uptake of telegenetic counseling in Sweden and in other countries with a similar health care system. This could benefit not only remote patient populations, as described in previous research, but also large family groups and patients experiencing obstacles in accessing genetic counseling, such as those with a psychiatric illness or time constraints, and be a useful way to make genetic counseling available in the new era of genomics.

KEYWORDS:

Genetic counseling; Implementation; Telegenetic

PMID:
30617812
DOI:
10.1007/s12687-018-00404-5

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