Prepare your clinical practice for new era of integrated genomic medicine

It is important that clinical practices are up to date with latest technologies which can enhance the clinical outcomes of the patients. A clinician will need to abreast with understanding and using tools which can enable him/her to help their patients. With the advent of genomic medicine which has become an important jigsaw in the completing the patient care puzzle, there is a need to integrate DNA sequencing into clinicians practice. As a result the knowledge base for genetic counseling has become a important step in assisting patients with timely screening, adopting healthy behaviors and making decisions for on obtaining genetic testing or other preventive measures. Counseling for genetic risk deals with multilayered complicated information such as the risk for developing certain diseases and benefits and limitations of various options for predicting or preventing the diseases. Uncertainty is inherent in the information communicated during counseling, making it difficult for patients to fully understand the information provided and causing inconsistency in the perceived meaning of the provided information among patients. Effective communication of the information on risk levels and potential benefits of preventive measures to individuals and their family members is one key element of realizing the benefits of genetic counseling.

One of the recent study Lee SY et al (1) used the Genetic Counseling Outcome Scale (C GOS-24), which is a genetics-specific Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) to evaluate cancer genetics services. The results showed that pre- and post intervention cognitive control and emotional control of patients who had genetic counseling showed significant improvement. These improvements alleviated feelings of being upset and hopelessness. In majority of cases post interventional counseling helped in medical management and adherence (2) and helped in reducing patient costs.  Therefore, integrating genetic counseling into clinical practice can benefit clinicians and their patients in the new era of genomic medicine.

References:

  1. Lee SY et al. J of Clinical Oncology 2018
  2. Sarah R et al Genetics in Medicine 2014