Purpose: To better understand the longitudinal risks and benefits of telephone disclosure of genetic test results in the era of multigene panel testing. Methods: Adults who were proceeding with germline cancer genetic testing were randomized to telephone disclosure (TD) with a genetic counselor or in-person disclosure (IPD) (i.e., usual care) of test results. All participants who received TD were recommended to return to meet with a physician to discuss medical management recommendations. Results: Four hundred seventy-three participants were randomized to TD and 497 to IPD. There were no differences between arms for any cognitive, affective, or behavioral outcomes at 6 and 12 months. Only 50% of participants in the TD arm returned for the medical follow-up appointment. Returning was associated with site (p < 0.0001), being female (p = 0.047), and not having a true negative result (p < 0.002). Mammography was lower at 12 months among those who had TD and did not return for medical follow-up (70%) compared with those who had TD and returned (86%) and those who had IPD (87%, adjusted p < 0.01). Conclusion: Telephone disclosure of genetic test results is a reasonable alternative to in-person disclosure, but attention to medical follow-up may remain important for optimizing appropriate use of genetic results.
- cancer genetic testing
- communication of genetic test results
- medical management after genetic testing
- multigene panel testing
- telephone communication
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