(October 2, 2018) A study by the Mayo Clinic earlier this year aimed to increase the amount of genetic counseling referrals to epithelial ovarian cancer patients by supplying patients with a Genetics Referral Toolkit. The research was funded by OCRA through the SU2C Ovarian Cancer Dream Team. The toolkit included a checklist, a way to track the patient’s family history, and awareness materials. In order to track referral rates, researchers compared 81 newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients from 2013 to 62 newly diagnosed patients during the time of the study, in 2015.
After implementing the use of the Toolkits, researchers saw an increase in referral rates, growing from 48.1% in the 2013 patient population to 74.2% in the 2015 population. Separately, researchers also broke down another population of patients who had never been referred to a genetic counselor into two subgroups, those who sought counseling and those who were tested. In the historic population, or those not specifically referred in the past, 87.9% had counseling and 79.3% were tested. In the population that was provided a Genetics Referral Toolkit, 60% were seen by a counselor and 100% were tested.
The researchers concluded that the Toolkit vastly increased the amount of newly diagnosed patients who sought out genetic counseling and testing.