Introduction: As part of a pilot randomised controlled trial examining the impact of personal melanoma genomic risk information on behavioural and psychosocial outcomes, general practitioners (GP) were sent a booklet containing their patient’s personal genomic risk of melanoma. Using this booklet as a reference point, the aim of this qualitative substudy was to explore GP expectations and attitudes towards providing melanoma genomic risk information to the public, and the resources needed to support this process.
Methodology: We conducted semi-structured interviews with Australian GPs. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed, before analysing data thematically. Twenty-two GPs participated in an interview.
Main findings: We found that GPs believe communicating genomic risk information may become a responsibility within primary care in the future and they recommend a shared-decision making approach to guide the testing process. We identified several factors that may influence how and when GPs communicate genomic risk information. GPs view genomics-based risk as one of many factors that influence an individual’s risk of disease. Therefore, genomic risk information could be applied in practice in the context of overall risk assessment for diseases for which modifiable prevention and early detection strategies are available. They believe that it is important to ensure that patients understand their personal genomic risk and do not experience long-term adverse psychological responses. GPs also require clinical practice guidelines that specify recommendations for genomic risk assessment and patient management, evidence-based point-of-care educational resources and tools that include genomic and traditional risk factors.
Principal conclusions and implications for the field: Our findings contribute to the development of strategies and resources for preparing the GP workforce to manage and implement melanoma genomic risk information in primary care.