Journal Club

Women’s Knowledge of Genomic Testing and Precision Medicine in Breast Cancer Treatment Decision-Making

Evelyn Robles-Rodriguez

Linda Houser

Belkys Sanchez

Catherine Ormerod

Stefanie Washburn

Staci K. Oertle

Bonnie Jerome-D’Emilia

breast cancer, genetic testing, genomic testing, decision-making
ONF 2024, 51(3), 199-208. DOI: 10.1188/24.ONF.199-208

Purpose: To understand awareness of genetic and genomic testing, as well as decision-making, in women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Participants & Setting: 29 African American/Black and Latina/Hispanic women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Methodologic Approach: A semistructured interview guide was used in focus groups conducted via videoconference. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings: Many of the women understood the concept of genetic testing to identify the BRCA1/BRCA2 variant, but none of them were aware of genomic testing and its implications for personalized medicine. Participants discussed provider and patient roles in treatment decision-making, identifying roles that the physician might play in treatment planning, from primary decision-maker to collaborator.

Implications for Nursing: As the number of precision cancer treatments expands, patients must be able to comprehend the information provided to make informed decisions about their treatment. Providers should do a better job of explaining potential treatments so that patients feel they are part of the decision-making process. Addressing gaps in treatment access and uptake requires providers to prioritize patient engagement and understanding.

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