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Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date

8-28-2022

Abstract

Background: Cancer genomic testing improves health outcomes for individuals at risk, drives cost-efficiency, and facilitates healthcare equity; however, little is known about how physician demographic and practice characteristics influence patient requests for genetic testing. Purpose: To explore whether (and to what extent) physician demographic and practice characteristics are associated with patient requests for cancer genetic testing. Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative design survey was distributed to 1240 primary care physicians registered with the state health department who had active licenses and main practices in Florida. Primary care physicians were defined as those who practice family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics, and gynecology. The survey tool was developed from a search of the literature and two previously validated surveys. It was administered using a modified Dillmanstrategy. The study sample size was 317 physicians, with an 85% response rate based upon a targeted sample of 372. Statistical calculations were performed using SPSS version 27 and STATA release 17.Results: Logistic regression model found significant associations between patient requests and physicians' race and professional practice size. Physicians identified as White were 1.840 times as likely to have patient requests for genetic testing (p=.036) than physicians whose race was other than White. Physicians whose professional practices were solo or small groups were 2.39 times as likely to have patient requests (p=.001) than physicians affiliated with larger practices. Discussion: Patient requests may be leveraged by physicians, other healthcare providers, and public health professionals; patient requests present a significant opportunity for increasing genetic testing and thus promoting better health outcomes for patients with Lynch syndrome-related colorectal cancer.


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