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Many pediatricians uncomfortable providing care to kids with genetic conditions
Date:11/19/2013

Ann Arbor, Mich. Many primary care pediatricians say they feel uncomfortable providing health care to patients with genetic disorders. Also, many do not consistently discuss all risks and benefits of genetic tests with patients, according to research published today in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

Investigators from the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and The Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) conducted a national survey of 88 physicians who are part of the American Academy of Pediatrics Quality Improvement Innovation Networks, assessing their comfort level ordering genetic tests for their pediatric patients, their attitudes toward genetic medical care and their choices regarding taking family histories. The majority of those physicians reported ordering few genetic tests (three or less times) per year, excluding newborn screening which is federally mandated for all newborns; few (13 percent) strongly agreed that they discussed the potential risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic tests with all their patients and only half felt competent in providing healthcare to patients with genetic disorders.

"While genetics has historically been viewed as a discipline focused on rare conditions, recent genomic advances have highlighted that genetics has a role in common conditions encountered in primary care medicine," said Beth Tarini, M.D., M.S., F.A.A.P., senior author, assistant professor of pediatrics, Child Health Evaluation & Research (CHEAR) Unit, Division of General Pediatrics, University of Michigan and co-medical director of the Genetics in Primary Care Institute (GPCI), a project of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Unfortunately, most PCPs have received insufficient education and training about genetics, which has left them uncertain about their role in providing genetics related care."

The study found that 100% of study participants stated that taking a family history is i
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Contact: Mary Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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