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Study Tracks Clinical Decision Support Impacts on BRCA1/2 Testing in Primary Care Setting

With a randomized clinical trial that included dozens of clinicians and nearly 190 patients, investigators at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and elsewhere looked at genetic counseling and BRCA1/2 genetic test uptake in asymptomatic women between the ages of 21 and 75 years old in response to standard education approaches or in a setting that included clinician and patient decision support tools. While patients participating in the study had relevant family histories, the team explains, they did not have a personal history of breast or ovarian cancer or prior BRCA1/2 testing or related genetic counseling. "[W]e did not observe increased genetic counseling uptake with the [decision support] intervention, but we did find statistically significant increases in genetic testing knowledge and decreased breast cancer worry and perceived risk," the authors report, adding that the "main advantage for these high-risk women is the ability to opt for screening and preventive services to decrease their cancer risk."