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Recontacting or not recontacting?: A survey of current practices in clinical genetics centres in Europe

Recontacting or not recontacting?: A survey of current practices in clinical genetics centres in Europe
Recontacting or not recontacting?: A survey of current practices in clinical genetics centres in Europe
Advances in genomic medicine are improving diagnosis and treatment of some health conditions, and the question of whether former patients should be recontacted is therefore timely. The issue of recontacting is becoming more important with increased integration of genomics in 'mainstream' medicine. Empirical evidence is needed to advance the discussion over whether and how recontacting should be implemented. We administered a web-based survey to genetic services in European countries to collect information about existing infrastructures and practices relevant to recontacting patients. The majority of the centres stated they had recontacted patients to update them about new significant information; however, there were no standardised practices or systems in place. There was also a multiplicity of understandings of the term 'recontacting', which respondents conflated with routine follow-up programmes, or even with post-test counselling. Participants thought that recontacting systems should be implemented to provide the best service to the patients and families. Nevertheless, many barriers to implementation were mentioned. These included: lack of resources and infrastructure, concerns about potential negative psychological consequences of recontacting, unclear operational definitions of recontacting, policies that prevent healthcare professionals from recontacting, and difficulties in locating patients after their last contact. These barriers are also intensified by the highly variable development (and establishment) of the specialties of medical genetics and genetic counselling across different European countries. Future recommendations about recontacting need to consider these barriers. It is also important to reach an 'operational definition' that can be useful in different countries
1769-7212
1-9
Sirchia, Fabio
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Carrieri, Daniele
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Dheensa, Sandi
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Benjamin, Caroline
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Kayserili, Hulya
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Cordier, Christophe
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van El, Carla G.
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Turnpenny, Peter D.
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Melegh, Bela
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Mendes, Alvaro
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Halbersma-Konings, Tanya F.
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van Langen, Irene
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Lucassen, Anneke M.
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Clarke, Angus J.
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Forzano, Francesca
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Kelly, Susan E.
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Sirchia, Fabio
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Carrieri, Daniele
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Dheensa, Sandi
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Benjamin, Caroline
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Kayserili, Hulya
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Cordier, Christophe
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van El, Carla G.
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Turnpenny, Peter D.
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Melegh, Bela
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Mendes, Alvaro
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Halbersma-Konings, Tanya F.
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van Langen, Irene
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Lucassen, Anneke M.
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Clarke, Angus J.
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Forzano, Francesca
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Kelly, Susan E.
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Sirchia, Fabio, Carrieri, Daniele, Dheensa, Sandi, Benjamin, Caroline, Kayserili, Hulya, Cordier, Christophe, van El, Carla G., Turnpenny, Peter D., Melegh, Bela, Mendes, Alvaro, Halbersma-Konings, Tanya F., van Langen, Irene, Lucassen, Anneke M., Clarke, Angus J., Forzano, Francesca and Kelly, Susan E. (2018) Recontacting or not recontacting?: A survey of current practices in clinical genetics centres in Europe. European Journal of Medical Genetics, 1-9. (doi:10.1038/s41431-018-0131-5).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Advances in genomic medicine are improving diagnosis and treatment of some health conditions, and the question of whether former patients should be recontacted is therefore timely. The issue of recontacting is becoming more important with increased integration of genomics in 'mainstream' medicine. Empirical evidence is needed to advance the discussion over whether and how recontacting should be implemented. We administered a web-based survey to genetic services in European countries to collect information about existing infrastructures and practices relevant to recontacting patients. The majority of the centres stated they had recontacted patients to update them about new significant information; however, there were no standardised practices or systems in place. There was also a multiplicity of understandings of the term 'recontacting', which respondents conflated with routine follow-up programmes, or even with post-test counselling. Participants thought that recontacting systems should be implemented to provide the best service to the patients and families. Nevertheless, many barriers to implementation were mentioned. These included: lack of resources and infrastructure, concerns about potential negative psychological consequences of recontacting, unclear operational definitions of recontacting, policies that prevent healthcare professionals from recontacting, and difficulties in locating patients after their last contact. These barriers are also intensified by the highly variable development (and establishment) of the specialties of medical genetics and genetic counselling across different European countries. Future recommendations about recontacting need to consider these barriers. It is also important to reach an 'operational definition' that can be useful in different countries

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Recontacting or not recontacting? A survey of current practices in clinical genetics centres in Europe - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 23 February 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 April 2018

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Local EPrints ID: 420569
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420569
ISSN: 1769-7212
PURE UUID: ab42a74c-7614-4fe5-a87b-03492a0cbd87

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Date deposited: 10 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 24 Apr 2019 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Fabio Sirchia
Author: Daniele Carrieri
Author: Sandi Dheensa
Author: Caroline Benjamin
Author: Hulya Kayserili
Author: Christophe Cordier
Author: Carla G. van El
Author: Peter D. Turnpenny
Author: Bela Melegh
Author: Alvaro Mendes
Author: Tanya F. Halbersma-Konings
Author: Irene van Langen
Author: Angus J. Clarke
Author: Francesca Forzano
Author: Susan E. Kelly

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