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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reaching high-risk underserved individuals for cancer genetic counseling by video-teleconferencing

  • Author(s): Mette, LA
  • Pulido Saldívar, AM
  • Poullard, NE
  • Torres, IC
  • Seth, SG
  • Pollock, BH
  • Tomlinson, GE
  • et al.

©2016 Frontline Medical Communications. Background: Breast and colorectal cancers are common cancers for which genetic risk assessment and counseling are available. However, these services are often limited to metropolitan areas and are not readily accessible to underserved populations. Moreover, ethnic and racial disparities present additional obstacles to identifying and screening high-risk individuals and have a bearing on treatment outcomes. Objective: To provide cancer genetic risk assessment and counseling through telemedicine to the remote, underserved primarily Hispanic population of the Texas-Mexico border region. Methods: Program participants were mailed a questionnaire to assess their satisfaction with the program so that we could determine the acceptability of video-teleconferencing for cancer risk assessment. Results: The overall level of satisfaction with the program was very high, demonstrating the acceptability of a cancer genetic risk assessment program that relied on telemedicine to reach and underserved minority community. Limitations: Delivery model requires the availability of and access to communication technologies; trained staff are needed at remote sites for sample collection and patient handling. Conclusion: Video-teleconferencing is an acceptable method of providing cancer risk assessment in a remote, underserved population.

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