A systematic review of communication interventions to help healthcare professionals discuss genetic testing for breast cancer

Starkings, Rachel, Shilling, Valerie, Jenkins, Valerie and Fallowfield, Lesley (2020) A systematic review of communication interventions to help healthcare professionals discuss genetic testing for breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. ISSN 0167-6806

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This systematic review examined educational training interventions for healthcare professionals (HCPs) discussing
genetic testing and risk for hereditary breast cancer. There was a particular focus on the presence, and content, of communication elements within these packages. Methods Searches were run via CINAHL, EMBASE, PUBMED, and PsychInfo in February 2019 to identify training interventions available to HCPs with reference to communication skills. Studies were assessed for quality, with relevant intervention and outcome data extracted and synthesized. This review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) statement and was registered on the PROSPERO database (CRD42019124010). Results of 3,988 items, seven papers, two of which were linked, were eligible for inclusion. There was a mix of randomized and single arm studies with web-based and face-to-face interventions. Content included an overview of genetics, hereditary and familial background, and recommended practice techniques. Outcomes focused on communication, self-efficacy, knowledge, and satisfaction. Interventions were designed for genetic counselors, physicians, primary care physicians (PCPs), medical students, and nurses. None of the papers featured oncologists or surgeons.

This review revealed an overall lack of publications which evaluated interventions to assist HCPs discussing
hereditary breast cancer risk and testing. Studies failed to operationalize which ‘communication skills’ they included, nor did they consistently report randomization, outcome measures, or analysis. Discussing the need for, and management of, genetic testing for inherited cancer risk with individuals and their families can be challenging. As genetic testing in breast cancer becomes more common, the provision of specific communication-based training programs, with reference to genetic testing, risk assessments, and counseling skills is warranted.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Breast Cancer, Communication, Education, Genetic Counselling, Genetic testing, Systemic Review
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer (SHORE-C)
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2020 11:22
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2022 11:22
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/92115

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
TRUSTING - Talking about Risk, UncertaintieS of Testing IN GeneticsG2533BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATIONBCRF-18-050