The GRAIDS Trial: the development and evaluation of computer decision support for cancer genetic risk assessment in primary care

J Emery
Annals of Human Biology 2005, 32 (2): 218-27
The development and evaluation of computer decision support for the assessment of cancer genetic risk in primary care is reported with two series of studies described: the RAGs (Risk Assessment in Genetics) studies and the GRAIDS (Genetic Risk Assessment in an Intranet and Decision Support) Trial. In the GRAIDS Trial, 45 general practices in Eastern England have been recruited and randomised. Comparison practices attend an educational session and receive clinical guidelines about familial breast and colorectal cancer. In the intervention practices a lead clinician is trained in cancer genetics and use of the GRAIDS software. The GRAIDS software is a simple pedigree-drawing program that implements clinical guidelines for familial breast and colorectal cancer and presents individualised information about breast cancer risk in a range of formats. Outcome measures of the trial include: frequency of software use, practitioners' attitudes towards the software, total number of referrals to secondary care about familial cancer and the proportion that meet regional referral criteria, and a patient-centred measure of informed decision making. The family history will become an increasingly important tool in primary care to assess genetic risk. This research evaluates an approach to support high-quality advice about cancer genetics in primary care which could be applied more broadly as our understanding of complex disease genetics increases.

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