Genetic counseling of cancer patients has become the standard of care, but not all patients have access to these resources. According to a new study conducted in Avramsona Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and a video phone can close this gap, and genetic counseling can receive any patient.
Scientists conducted a study to determine whether patients take genetic tests after a remote session by telephone or videokonfents communication and found that 77 percent of patients chose to do so. Lead study author Angela R. Bradbury, MD, will present the results at the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Genetic tests allow doctors to identify patients with an increased risk of cancer that require additional screening or other interventions for the prevention of disease. This testing includes the detection of BRCA mutations that are associated with risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, and pancreatic and prostate cancer. Genetic counselors help patients to identify genetic and hereditary cancer risk and make recommendations on the most appropriate genetic analysis.
Bradbury and her staff selected 115 patients who had planned to deliver genetic analyzes. Some of them received counseling by telephone or video conferencing, and other common materials have been provided on how they can get tested. Of the first group, 77 percent passed the tests, while in the second group - only six percent. The results show the impact of the adoption of remote service solutions by the patient, and from the study is clear that telemedicine helps traditional practices. According to the researchers, there is still much work to give patients the necessary information, which in some cases can cost lives. Previous studies have shown that patients on the low level of awareness of treatment options.
The study also compared the effectiveness of two telehealth options, and preliminary data indicate that video conferencing gives you more knowledge and more reduces depression compared to normal telephone services. The authors note that this conclusion is preliminary and indicates the need for further research.