Date Degree Awarded

Spring 5-15-2020

Degree Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Genetics and Genetic Counseling

First Thesis/Dissertation Advisor

Sharon Chan

Second Thesis/Dissertation Advisor

Nicholas Gorman

Third Thesis/Dissertation Advisor

Nicholas Gorman

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Background: Health care costs have increased faster than Consumer Price Index leading to patients weighing their options of medical treatment and services. One such service, genetic counseling, has grown 20% annually, in part due to the increased demand of genetic testing. Oncology care is one need for testing because 5-15% of all cancer diagnoses in the United States are inherited. Due to the fact that the Affordable Care Act does not cover all genetic counseling testing needs, and ethnic minorities are less likely to seek testing due to insurance coverage and costs, an increased effort is needed to reach high risk individuals in medically underserved population.

Methods: Health care providers in the oncology health practicing in the state of California were reached through Listservs and asked to fill out a survey provided through Qualtrics. The survey included practitioner demographics, patient demographics, and an assessment of needs of oncology patients. The univariate analyses and bivariate analyses were completed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 26.0.

Results: Twenty-six individual responses were analyzed and plotted. No statistically significant findings emerged when analyzing the type of insurance a patient had versus patient barriers to access, nor when analyzing the patient barriers to access by practice size. Participants who work with medically underserved populations were more likely to cite health insurance and immigrant status as barriers to adherence.

Conclusion: Barriers exist for the medically underserved population. Due to study limitations including small sample size, volunteer bias and instrumentation bias, further research is needed for a state wide initiative to promote genetics in an underserved population to address discrepancies in medical care.

Included in

Genetics Commons