Genetic Counselors’ Perspectives and Practices Regarding Expanded Carrier Screening after Initial Clinical AvailabilityReport as inadecuate

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Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 395–404

First Online: 10 September 2015Received: 21 January 2015Accepted: 19 August 2015DOI: 10.1007-s10897-015-9881-1

Cite this article as: Lazarin, G.A., Detweiler, S., Nazareth, S.B. et al. J Genet Counsel 2016 25: 395. doi:10.1007-s10897-015-9881-1


Expanded carrier screening ECS, introduced in 2009, identifies carriers for dozens or hundreds of recessive diseases. At the time of its introduction into clinical use, perspectives of the genetic counseling community regarding ECS were unknown. We conducted a survey in early 2012 of GCs and report the results here. They represent a snapshot of opinions and usage at that time, providing a baseline for comparison as the technology continues to evolve and as usage increases. The survey assessed personal perspectives, opinions on clinical implementation and clinical utilization of ECS. The sample included 337 GCs of varying clinical fields, of whom 150 reported practicing in reproductive settings. Our findings demonstrate that, at the time, GCs indicated general agreement with ECS as a concept – for example, most GCs agreed that carrier screening should address diseases outside of current guidelines and also indicated personal interest in electing ECS. There were also disagreements or concerns expressed regarding appropriate pre- and post-test counseling e.g., the content and delivery mode of adequate informed consent and practical implementation e.g., the amount of time available for follow-up care. This was the first quantitative study of a large number of GCs and it revealed initial overall support for ECS among the GC profession. The authors plan to re-administer a similar survey, which may reveal changes in opinions and-or utilization over time. A follow up survey would also allow further exploration of questions uncovered by these data.

KeywordsExpanded carrier screening Recessive disease Survey Genetic counselor Reproductive genetics Beliefs Attitudes Clinical practice  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Gabriel A. Lazarin - Stacey Detweiler - Shivani B. Nazareth - Elena Ashkinadze


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