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J. Pers. Med. 2014, 4(2), 218-244; doi:10.3390/jpm4020218

Knowledge, Attitudes and Referral Patterns of Lynch Syndrome: A Survey of Clinicians in Australia

School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, 288 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
Molecular Cancer Epidemiology Laboratory, Genetics and Computational Biology Division, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, 300 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia
Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer Research, Level 6 Ned Hanlon Building, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Butterfield Street, Herston, QLD 4029, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2013 / Revised: 24 April 2014 / Accepted: 25 April 2014 / Published: 12 May 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bringing Personalized Medicine into Clinical Practice 2013)
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This study assessed Australian clinicians’ knowledge, attitudes and referral patterns of patients with suspected Lynch syndrome for genetic services. A total of 144 oncologists, surgeons, gynaecologists, general practitioners and gastroenterologists from the Australian Medical Association and Clinical Oncology Society responded to a web-based survey. Most respondents demonstrated suboptimal knowledge of Lynch syndrome. Male general practitioners who have been practicing for ≥10 years were less likely to offer genetic referral than specialists, and many clinicians did not recognize that immunohistochemistry testing is not a germline test. Half of all general practitioners did not actually refer patients in the past 12 months, and 30% of them did not feel that their role is to identify patients for genetic referral. The majority of clinicians considered everyone to be responsible for making the initial referral to genetic services, but a small preference was given to oncologists (15%) and general practitioners (13%). Patient information brochures, continuing genetic education programs and referral guidelines were favoured as support for practice. Targeted education interventions should be considered to improve referral. An online family history assessment tool with built-in decision support would be helpful in triaging high-risk individuals for pathology analysis and/or genetic assessment in general practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lynch syndrome; referral; risk assessment; genetic services; knowledge; attitudes and practice Lynch syndrome; referral; risk assessment; genetic services; knowledge; attitudes and practice

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Tan, Y.Y.; Spurdle, A.B.; Obermair, A. Knowledge, Attitudes and Referral Patterns of Lynch Syndrome: A Survey of Clinicians in Australia. J. Pers. Med. 2014, 4, 218-244.

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