Cost-effectiveness evaluation of pre-counseling telephone interviews before face-to-face genetic counseling in cancer genetics

Monday, November 6, 2017

Familial Cancer, by G Colet et al


One of the main challenges in cancer genetics is responding to the exponential demand for genetic counseling, especially in patients with breast and/or ovarian cancer. To address this demand, we have set up a new procedure, based on pre-genetic counseling telephone interviews (PTI) followed by routing of patients: D1, a PTI is scheduled within 14 days; D7-D14, genetic counselors perform a 20 min PTI in order to establish a pre-genetic counseling file, by collecting personal and family medical history via a structured questionnaire and; D10-17, routing: pre-genetic counseling appointment files are analyzed by a cancer geneticist with 3 possible conclusions: (a) priority face-to-face genetic counseling (FTFGC) appointment with a cancer geneticist, if the genetic test results have an immediate therapeutic impact; (b) non-priority FTFGC with a genetic counselor, or (c) no FTFGC required or substitution by a more appropriate index case. In the context of breast and/or ovarian cancer, 1012 patients received PTIs, 39.1% of which did not lead to FTFGC. The mean delay for non-priority FTFGC was maintained at 18 weeks and priority FTFGC appointments were guaranteed within 8 weeks. The required resources for 1012 patients was estimated at 0.12 FTE secretaries, 0.62 FTE genetic counselors and 0.08 FTE cancer geneticists and the procedure was shown to be cost-effective. This new procedure allows the suppression of up to 1/3 of appointments, guarantees priority for appointments with therapeutic impact and optimizes the interaction and breakdown of tasks between genetic counselors and cancer geneticists. Read more.