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Family History Questionnaire Ups Genetic Counseling for CRC

FRIDAY, June 23, 2017 -- For patients undergoing outpatient colonoscopy, a family history questionnaire (FHQ) sent by mail is associated with an increase in available family history and referral for genetic counseling, according to a study published online May 29 in the Journal of Digestive Diseases.

Koen Kessels, M.D., Ph.D., from the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands, and colleagues sent a FHQ to patients who were due to undergo outpatient colonoscopy in 2013. Additional characteristics and referral for genetic evaluation of patients were retrieved from electronic medical records (EMRs). Data were included for 6,163 patients who underwent colonoscopy from 2010 to 2013.

The researchers found that 3.7 percent of the 1,421 patients undergoing colonoscopy in 2013 consulted a geneticist, compared with 1.6 percent of the 4,742 patients undergoing colonoscopy from 2010 to 2012 (P < 0.01). Twenty-nine percent of the 974 patients undergoing colonoscopy in 2013 returned the FHQ. In 40.3 percent of the 974 patients, family history was not recorded in the EMR; 32.8 percent of these had family history obtained by a returned FHQ. Overall, 60.5 percent of patients referred for genetic counseling in 2013 were referred on the basis of family history; 9.9 percent were referred based on returned FHQ.

"Screening for hereditary CRC in a population undergoing outpatient colonoscopy with a FHQ sent by mail resulted in an increase of an available family history and genetic counseling," the authors write.

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Posted: June 2017