C.ONG1, R.TAN1, S.M.FUNG2, S.SUN1, J.NGEOW1
Nanyang Technological University1, National Cancer Centre Singapore2
The proliferation and growing demands of genetic testing is anticipated to revolutionalise primary care. As gatekeepers of healthcare systems, general practitioners (GPs) are expected to play a critical role in the provision of clinical genetic services. Yet, little is known about GPs’ awareness, needs, and how they perceive their role in the adoption of clinical genetic services.
Aim: To review existing literature on GPs’ experiences, attitudes, and needs towards clinical genetic services.
A systematic mixed-studies review was conducted on PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE databases using key terms and Boolean combinations to identify peer-reviewed articles published from July 2010 to July 2020. Study quality were assessed using Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). Articles that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were selected and a meta-synthesis was conducted to identify key themes.
A total of 23 articles were included in the review. While some GPs were found to agree on the positive utility of clinical genetic testing, others were unsure about their role in offering genetic testing. Uncertainty over GP’s role was found to be exacerbated by barriers such as lack of knowledge, confidence, occurrences of cases, and time constraints to perform clinical genetic tasks. While existing educational interventions were effective in increasing GPs’ knowledge and confidence to carry out genetic tasks, they may not necessarily translate into clinical adoption.
This review highlights the need for deeper exploration of GPs’ varied experiences and attitudes towards clinical genetic services to better facilitate targeted intervention on the adoption of clinical genetics.