Development and evaluation of an online, patient-driven, family outreach intervention to facilitate sharing of genetic risk information in families with Lynch syndrome

Mala Pande, Susan Peterson, Patrick M. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Identifying at-risk relatives of individuals with genetic conditions facilitates 'cascade' genetic testing and cancer prevention. Although current standards of care give mutation-positive (index) patients the responsibility of sharing genetic risk information with relatives, the communication is suboptimal, limited largely to close relatives. We developed FamilyCONNECT, a provider-mediated, patient-navigated online tool to facilitate family outreach, and assessed its feasibility, usability and acceptability. Methods (1) Development of the FamilyCONNECT prototype; (2) testing using online surveys of: (a) members of Lynch Syndrome (LS) International (LSI); (b) genetics service providers; and (3) hands-on testing with patients with LS. Results (1) FamilyCONNECT's features include introductory email to elicit participation, informational website/video, identity authentication/account creation, informed consent, sharing of genetic test results, pedigree expansion and process to invite at-risk relatives. (2a) 33% of the 170 LSI participants completed the survey. FamilyCONNECT's features received favourable responses from at least 79% of respondents. Unfavourable responses were for length of the consent document and mistrust of opening emailed links. (2b) Thirty-five genetics professionals responded to the providers' survey. Key perceived barriers to FamilyCONNECT's usage were privacy/confidentiality (83%), a lack of institutional resources (76%), a defined process (66%) and time (69%). (3) Ten patients navigated data collection fields and provided feedback for improvements. Conclusion FamilyCONNECT tool's content and features were well received among patients with LS as well as providers. The tool could be a viable alternative to increase family outreach among patients with LS. Future efforts will focus on refining FamilyCONNECT and assessing its uptake and utilisation by patients with LS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-596
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of medical genetics
Volume59
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Keywords

  • genetic research
  • information science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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