Genetic counseling protocols for patients with ovarian cancer (OC) may be optimized by incorporating a multichannel information delivery system that combines provider-led and peer-to-peer educational models. These findings were published in JMIR Cancer.

According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, all patients who have high-grade OC should undergo genetic testing. Uptake of this recommendation has been reported to be between 15% and 53%. To understand why there is low uptake of genetic testing and what interventions may improve compliance, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin conducted interviews with 20 patients with OC and analyzed web-based community posts.

Participants were older than 40 years (95%), 80% were White, 65% had a college degree or higher, 100% underwent germline genetic testing, and 30% somatic genetic testing.

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Five major clusters of topics came up during interviews: knowledge of genetic testing as a medical exam, the process of genetic testing, implications for patients, implications for their family members, and medical terminology.

Participants had differing preferred delivery methods for information such as internet-based channels, in print, or via in-person conversation with their clinician.

Regardless of delivery method, patients wanted information to be understandable with concise language delivered by a sympathetic voice and only when they were ready to receive the relevant information.

This study was limited by its small sample size and the semi-structured interview design.

The survey results suggested that due to the wide range of needs each patient has, current genetic counseling models may benefit from incorporating a multichannel delivery system comprising provider-led and peer-to-peer education.


Zhang Y, Yi S, Trace CB, Williams-Brown MY. Understanding the information needs of patients with ovarian cancer regarding genetic testing to inform intervention design: interview study. JMIR Cancer. 2022;8(1):e31263. doi:10.2196/31263