Reuters Health interviewed Sofia Merajver, M.D., Ph.D., on new research that suggests counseling that goes along with testing for breast cancer risk genes can be delivered just as effectively over the phone as in person, and at lower cost.
Researchers found that women counseled over the phone before testing fared about the same in their understanding of the test and reactions to it as those counseled in person.
"We have – by virtue of the incredibly high demand for genetic risk counseling – been looking for alternative avenues," Merajver told Reuters Health. She cautioned, however, that the study’s results shouldn’t be applied to a broad range of genetic tests. "There are issues with straight telephone counseling without visuals that are real obstacles for us as the landscape of genetic testing becomes more complex. But it is the right direction to go."
Merajver is director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Evaluation Program at the UMHS Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor. She was not involved with the new study, but provided comment on its important findings for genetic counseling.
Read her entire interview about issues surrounding telephone counseling here.