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Cancer Control Research

Wood, Marie E.


DESCRIPTION: Our research team aims to equip primary care physicians (PCPs) with the knowledge, skills and other resources they will need to l_roperly identify and manage patients at genetic risk for cancer. This initial study will identify primary care physician needs for education in cancer genetics. Three major activities will be undertaken. (a) In-depth interviews will be conducted with primary care physicians, serving a culturally and socioeconomically diverse group of patients in urban, rural and suburban settings; the purpose of these interviews is to document in detail PCPs' understanding of cancer genetics and the barriers and oppommities they see for enhancing good cancer family history-taking. (b) A survey will be administered to PCPs in the three types of practice settings to provide a generalizable assessment of PCPs' cancer genetics knowledge and to test a model of factors hypothesized to predict appropriate PCP use of cancer family histories (n = 1422); this theoretical model specifies modifiable factors, both within individuals and in their organizational settings, that could be changed by an intervention program. The sample will include physicians affiliated with an urban medical center where ethnic minorities make up 85% of the patient population, rural physicians in northern New England, and suburban-based physicians in Massachusetts. (c) An expert panel will use the data collected from PCPs and current cancer genetics curriculum for physicians to recommend educational objectives for PCP education. These recommendations will be used in future studies to develop and test an educational intervention aimed at preparing PCPs to conduct and interpret cancer family histories, and to manage their patients who have a familial risk for cancer.

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