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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

1,2,3,* , 3
1 School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, 288 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia 2 Molecular Cancer Epidemiology Laboratory, Genetics and Computational Biology Division, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, 300 Herston Road, Herston, QLD 4006, Australia 3 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)
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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.
Keywords: Lynch syndrome; referral; risk assessment; genetic services; knowledge; attitudes and practice Lynch syndrome; referral; risk assessment; genetic services; knowledge; attitudes and practice
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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