Improving access to cancer genetic services: perspectives of high-risk clients in a community-based setting


Cancer genetic services are underutilized by high-risk clients in community-based health settings. To understand this disparity, 108 Planned Parenthood high-risk clients completed a utilization-focused survey. Clients expressed interest (78.8%) and intention (75.0%) in seeking genetic services. Personal/familial implications for cancer risk were the strongest motivators for seeking services (63.0–79.6%). Finances (39.6%) and worry (37.0%) were the biggest barriers. To reduce disparities in access to cancer genetics services, clinicians must understand clients’ concerns and tailor their recommendations.

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The authors on this paper would like to thank the Planned Parenthood Federation of America staff and Mary Kint Petit at Planned Parenthood of Michigan for their support of this research. Many thanks to Mark Pearlman, Debra Duquette, and Kara Milliron for their assistance in survey development.

Funding information

Partial funding for this project was provided by the National Society of Genetic Counselors Education Special Interest Group and the University of Michigan Genetic Counseling Research Grant.

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Correspondence to Monica L. Marvin.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Studies with human subjects

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study. The study was approved for exemption through University of Michigan IRB HUM00103068.

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Miller, I., Greenberg, S., Yashar, B.M. et al. Improving access to cancer genetic services: perspectives of high-risk clients in a community-based setting. J Community Genet 11, 119–123 (2020).

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  • Cancer genetic services
  • Underserved population
  • Screening tool