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J Community Genet. 2019 Mar 6. doi: 10.1007/s12687-019-00412-z. [Epub ahead of print]

"It would be so much easier": health system-led genetic risk notification-feasibility and acceptability of cascade screening in an integrated system.

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Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA.
Department of Bioethics and Humanities, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
Departments of Medicine (Medical Genetics) and Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


Assess the feasibility and acceptability of health system-led genetic risk notification in a US integrated health system. We conducted semi-structured phone interviews with individuals age 40-64 years who had undergone genetic sequencing, but had not yet received their results, assessing attitudes to direct outreach to relatives. During each interview, we collected contact information for adult relatives identified as members of the same system and attempted to identify each relative in administrative data. We conducted 20 interviews. Most participants expressed support for Kaiser Permanente Washington involvement in familial risk notification. Direct outreach to relatives received the most unqualified support; outreach to the relatives' physician or interaction with the relatives' electronic medical record received more tempered support. Support was motivated by the desire to have risk communicated accurately and quickly. The most common caveat was a desire to alert relatives before the health system contacted them. Of 57 named relatives who were members of the same health system, we retrieved a single match for 40 (70.2%) based on name or birthdate. Health system involvement in familial risk notification received support in a sample of patients in a US integrated health system, and identification of relatives is feasible.


Bioethics; Cascade testing; Communication; Genetic testing; Risk notification


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