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J. Pers. Med. 2015, 5(2), 191-212; doi:10.3390/jpm5020191

Do Health Professionals Need Additional Competencies for Stratified Cancer Prevention Based on Genetic Risk Profiling?

1
PHG Foundation, 2 Worts Causeway, Cambridge CB1 8RN, UK
2
Department of Clinical Genetics, Section Community Genetics, and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB, The Netherlands
3
UCL Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, Cruciform Building, 90 Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
4
Departments of Oncology and of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB1 8RN, UK
5
UCL Department of Applied Health Research, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 6BT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen B. Liggett
Received: 23 March 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 9 June 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [613 KB, uploaded 9 June 2015]

Abstract

There is growing evidence that inclusion of genetic information about known common susceptibility variants may enable population risk-stratification and personalized prevention for common diseases including cancer. This would require the inclusion of genetic testing as an integral part of individual risk assessment of an asymptomatic individual. Front line health professionals would be expected to interact with and assist asymptomatic individuals through the risk stratification process. In that case, additional knowledge and skills may be needed. Current guidelines and frameworks for genetic competencies of non-specialist health professionals place an emphasis on rare inherited genetic diseases. For common diseases, health professionals do use risk assessment tools but such tools currently do not assess genetic susceptibility of individuals. In this article, we compare the skills and knowledge needed by non-genetic health professionals, if risk-stratified prevention is implemented, with existing competence recommendations from the UK, USA and Europe, in order to assess the gaps in current competences. We found that health professionals would benefit from understanding the contribution of common genetic variations in disease risk, the rationale for a risk-stratified prevention pathway, and the implications of using genomic information in risk-assessment and risk management of asymptomatic individuals for common disease prevention. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetic risk; risk-assessment; common-disease prevention; competence; health professionals; risk-stratified prevention; risk-stratified screening; knowledge; skills; risk-tools genetic risk; risk-assessment; common-disease prevention; competence; health professionals; risk-stratified prevention; risk-stratified screening; knowledge; skills; risk-tools
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chowdhury, S.; Henneman, L.; Dent, T.; Hall, A.; Burton, A.; Pharoah, P.; Pashayan, N.; Burton, H. Do Health Professionals Need Additional Competencies for Stratified Cancer Prevention Based on Genetic Risk Profiling? J. Pers. Med. 2015, 5, 191-212.

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J. Pers. Med. EISSN 2075-4426 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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