Genetic counseling via telephone as effective as in-person appointments, study finds

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Telephone counseling is as effective at relaying knowledge as in-person counseling before and after genetic testing, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The researchers enrolled 669 women undergoing BRCA1/BRCA2 gene testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The participants were randomly assigned to either in-person or telephone counseling before and after testing.

Researchers found telephone counseling was as effective as in-person counseling for outcomes related to knowledge, satisfaction, decision conflict, distress and quality of life. Telephone counseling also led to cost savings of $114 per patient, according to the study.

"Genetic counseling can be effectively and efficiently delivered via telephone to increase access and decrease costs," the study authors concluded.

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