Publications

2021
Schwartz TS, Christensen KD, Uveges MK, et al. Effects of participation in a U.S. trial of newborn genomic sequencing on parents at risk for depression. J Genet Couns. 2021.Abstract
Much emphasis has been placed on participant's psychological safety within genomic research studies; however, few studies have addressed parental psychological health effects associated with their child's participation in genomic studies, particularly when parents meet the threshold for clinical concern for depression. We aimed to determine if parents' depressive symptoms were associated with their child's participation in a randomized-controlled trial of newborn exome sequencing. Parents completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at baseline, immediately post-disclosure, and 3 months post-disclosure. Mothers and fathers scoring at or above thresholds for clinical concern on the EPDS, 12 and 10, respectively, indicating possible Major Depressive Disorder with Peripartum Onset, were contacted by study staff for mental health screening. Parental concerns identified in follow-up conversations were coded for themes. Forty-five parents had EPDS scores above the clinical threshold at baseline, which decreased by an average of 2.9 points immediately post-disclosure and another 1.1 points 3 months post-disclosure (both p ≤ .014). For 28 parents, EPDS scores were below the threshold for clinical concern at baseline, increased by an average of 4.7 points into the elevated range immediately post-disclosure, and decreased by 3.8 points at 3 months post-disclosure (both p < .001). Nine parents scored above thresholds only at 3 months post-disclosure after increasing an average of 5.7 points from immediately post-disclosure (p < .001). Of the 82 parents who scored above the threshold at any time point, 43 (52.4%) were reached and 30 (69.7%) of these 43 parents attributed their elevated scores to parenting stress, balancing work and family responsibilities, and/or child health concerns. Only three parents (7.0%) raised concerns about their participation in the trial, particularly their randomization to the control arm. Elevated scores on the EPDS were typically transient and parents attributed their symptomatology to life stressors in the postpartum period rather than participation in a trial of newborn exome sequencing.
Christensen KD, Bell M, Zawatsky CLB, et al. Precision Population Medicine in Primary Care: The Sanford Chip Experience. Front Genet. 2021;12 :626845.Abstract
Genetic testing has the potential to revolutionize primary care, but few health systems have developed the infrastructure to support precision population medicine applications or attempted to evaluate its impact on patient and provider outcomes. In 2018, Sanford Health, the nation's largest rural nonprofit health care system, began offering genetic testing to its primary care patients. To date, more than 11,000 patients have participated in the Sanford Chip Program, over 90% of whom have been identified with at least one informative pharmacogenomic variant, and about 1.5% of whom have been identified with a medically actionable predisposition for disease. This manuscript describes the rationale for offering the Sanford Chip, the programs and infrastructure implemented to support it, and evolving plans for research to evaluate its real-world impact.
Galbraith LN, Preys CL, Rehm HL, et al. Primary care providers' responses to unsolicited Lynch syndrome secondary findings of varying clinical significance. Genet Med. 2021;23 (10) :1977-1983.Abstract
PURPOSE: How primary care providers (PCPs) respond to genomic secondary findings (SFs) of varying clinical significance (pathogenic, uncertain significance [VUS], or benign) is unknown. METHODS: We randomized 148 American Academy of Family Physicians members to review three reports with varying significance for Lynch syndrome. Participants provided open-ended responses about the follow-up they would address and organized the SF reports and five other topics in the order they would prioritize responding to them (1 = highest priority, 6 = lowest priority). RESULTS: PCPs suggested referrals more often for pathogenic variants or VUS than benign variants (72% vs. 16%, p < 0.001). PCPs were also more likely to address further workup, like a colonoscopy or esophagogastroduodenoscopy, in response to pathogenic variants or VUS than benign variants (43% vs. 4%, p < 0.001). The likelihoods of addressing referrals or further workup were similar when PCPs reviewed pathogenic variants and VUS (both p > 0.46). SF reports were prioritized highest for pathogenic variants (2.7 for pathogenic variants, 3.6 for VUS, 4.3 for benign variants, all p ≤ 0.014). CONCLUSION: Results suggest that while PCPs appreciated the differences in clinical significance, disclosure of VUS as SFs would substantially increase downstream health-care utilization.
Pereira S, Smith HS, Frankel LA, et al. Psychosocial Effect of Newborn Genomic Sequencing on Families in the BabySeq Project: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2021.Abstract
Importance: Newborn genomic sequencing (nGS) may provide health benefits throughout the life span, but there are concerns that it could also have an unfavorable (ie, negative) psychosocial effect on families. Objective: To assess the psychosocial effect of nGS on families from the BabySeq Project, a randomized clinical trial evaluating the effect of nGS on the clinical care of newborns from well-baby nurseries and intensive care units. Design, Setting, and Participants: In this randomized clinical trial conducted from May 14, 2015, to May 21, 2019, at well-baby nurseries and intensive care units at 3 Boston, Massachusetts, area hospitals, 519 parents of 325 infants completed surveys at enrollment, immediately after disclosure of nGS results, and 3 and 10 months after results disclosure. Statistical analysis was performed on a per-protocol basis from January 16, 2019, to December 1, 2019. Intervention: Newborns were randomized to receive either standard newborn screening and a family history report (control group) or the same plus an nGS report of childhood-onset conditions and highly actionable adult-onset conditions (nGS group). Main Outcomes and Measures: Mean responses were compared between groups and, within the nGS group, between parents of children who received a monogenic disease risk finding and those who did not in 3 domains of psychosocial impact: parent-child relationship (Mother-to-Infant Bonding Scale), parents' relationship (Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale), and parents' psychological distress (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale anxiety subscale). Results: A total of 519 parents (275 women [53.0%]; mean [SD] age, 35.1 [4.5] years) were included in this study. Although mean scores differed for some outcomes at singular time points, generalized estimating equations models did not show meaningful differences in parent-child relationship (between-group difference in adjusted mean [SE] Mother-to-Infant Bonding Scale scores: postdisclosure, 0.04 [0.15]; 3 months, -0.18 [0.18]; 10 months, -0.07 [0.20]; joint P = .57) or parents' psychological distress (between-group ratio of adjusted mean [SE] Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale anxiety subscale scores: postdisclosure, 1.04 [0.08]; 3 months, 1.07 [0.11]; joint P = .80) response patterns between study groups over time for any measures analyzed in these 2 domains. Response patterns on one parents' relationship measure differed between groups over time (between-group difference in adjusted mean [SE] Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale scores: postdisclosure, -0.19 [0.07]; 3 months, -0.04 [0.07]; and 10 months, -0.01 [0.08]; joint P = .02), but the effect decreased over time and no difference was observed on the conflict measure responses over time. We found no evidence of persistent negative psychosocial effect in any domain. Conclusions and Relevance: In this randomized clinical trial of nGS, there was no persistent negative psychosocial effect on families among those who received nGS nor among those who received a monogenic disease risk finding for their infant. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02422511.
Yeh JM, Stout NK, Chaudhry A, et al. Universal newborn genetic screening for pediatric cancer predisposition syndromes: model-based insights. Genet Med. 2021;23 (7) :1366-1371.Abstract
PURPOSE: Genetic testing for pediatric cancer predisposition syndromes (CPS) could augment newborn screening programs, but with uncertain benefits and costs. METHODS: We developed a simulation model to evaluate universal screening for a CPS panel. Cohorts of US newborns were simulated under universal screening versus usual care. Using data from clinical studies, ClinVar, and gnomAD, the presence of pathogenic/likely pathogenic (P/LP) variants in RET, RB1, TP53, DICER1, SUFU, PTCH1, SMARCB1, WT1, APC, ALK, and PHOX2B were assigned at birth. Newborns with identified variants underwent guideline surveillance. Survival benefit was modeled via reductions in advanced disease, cancer deaths, and treatment-related late mortality, assuming 100% adherence. RESULTS: Among 3.7 million newborns, under usual care, 1,803 developed a CPS malignancy before age 20. With universal screening, 13.3% were identified at birth as at-risk due to P/LP variant detection and underwent surveillance, resulting in a 53.5% decrease in cancer deaths in P/LP heterozygotes and a 7.8% decrease among the entire cohort before age 20. Given a test cost of $55, universal screening cost $244,860 per life-year gained; with a $20 test, the cost fell to $99,430 per life-year gained. CONCLUSION: Population-based genetic testing of newborns may reduce mortality associated with pediatric cancers and could be cost-effective as sequencing costs decline.
Christensen KD, Schonman EF, Robinson JO, et al. Behavioral and psychological impact of genome sequencing: a pilot randomized trial of primary care and cardiology patients. NPJ Genom Med. 2021;6 (1) :72.Abstract
Many expect genome sequencing (GS) to become routine in patient care and preventive medicine, but uncertainties remain about its ability to motivate participants to improve health behaviors and the psychological impact of disclosing results. In a pilot trial with exploratory analyses, we randomized 100 apparently healthy, primary-care participants and 100 cardiology participants to receive a review of their family histories of disease, either alone or in addition to GS analyses. GS results included polygenic risk information for eight cardiometabolic conditions. Overall, no differences were observed between the percentage of participants in the GS and control arms, who reported changes to health behaviors such as diet and exercise at 6 months post disclosure (48% vs. 36%, respectively, p = 0.104). In the GS arm, however, the odds of reporting a behavior change increased by 52% per high-risk polygenic prediction (p = 0.032). Mean anxiety and depression scores for GS and control arms had confidence intervals within equivalence margins of ±1.5. Mediation analyses suggested an indirect impact of GS on health behaviors by causing positive psychological responses (p ≤ 0.001). Findings suggest that GS did not distress participants. Future research on GS in more diverse populations is needed to confirm that it does not raise risks for psychological harms and to confirm the ability of polygenic risk predictions to motivate preventive behaviors.
2020
Pereira S, Hsu RL, Islam R, et al. Airmen and health-care providers' attitudes toward the use of genomic sequencing in the US Air Force: findings from the MilSeq Project. Genet Med. 2020;22 (12) :2003-2010.Abstract
PURPOSE: The use of genomic sequencing (GS) in military settings poses unique considerations, including the potential for GS to impact service members' careers. The MilSeq Project investigated the use of GS in clinical care of active duty Airmen in the United States Air Force (USAF). METHODS: We assessed perceived risks, benefits, and attitudes toward use of GS in the USAF among patient participants (n = 93) and health-care provider participants (HCPs) (n = 12) prior to receiving or disclosing GS results. RESULTS: Participants agreed that there are health benefits associated with GS (90% patients, 75% HCPs), though more HCPs (75%) than patients (40%) agreed that there are risks (p = 0.048). The majority of both groups (67% HCPs, 77% patients) agreed that they trust the USAF with genetic information, but far fewer agreed that genetic information should be used to make decisions about deployment (5% patients, 17% HCPs) or duty assignments (3% patients, 17% HCPs). Despite their hesitancy, patients were supportive of the USAF testing for nondisease traits that could impact their duty performance. Eighty-seven percent of patients did not think their GS results would influence their career. CONCLUSION: Results suggest favorable attitudes toward the use of GS in the USAF when not used for deployment or assignment decisions.
Christensen KD, Karlawish J, Roberts SJ, et al. Disclosing genetic risk for Alzheimer's dementia to individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2020;6 (1) :e12002.Abstract
Introduction: The safety of predicting conversion from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia using apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotyping is unknown. Methods: We randomized 114 individuals with MCI to receive estimates of 3-year risk of conversion to AD dementia informed by APOE genotyping (disclosure arm) or not (non-disclosure arm) in a non-inferiority clinical trial. Primary outcomes were anxiety and depression scores. Secondary outcomes included other psychological measures. Results: Upper confidence limits for randomization arm differences were 2.3 on the State Trait Anxiety Index and 0.5 on the Geriatric Depression Scale, below non-inferiority margins of 3.3 and 1.0. Moreover, mean scores were lower in the disclosure arm than non-disclosure arm for test-related positive impact (difference: -1.9, indicating more positive feelings) and AD concern (difference: -0.3). Discussion: Providing genetic information to individuals with MCI about imminent risk for AD does not increase risks of anxiety or depression and may provide psychological benefits.
Mackay ZP, Dukhovny D, Phillips KA, et al. Quantifying Downstream Healthcare Utilization in Studies of Genomic Testing. Value Health. 2020;23 (5) :559-565.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: The challenges of understanding how interventions influence follow-up medical care are magnified during genomic testing because few patients have received it to date and because the scope of information it provides is complex and often unexpected. We tested a novel strategy for quantifying downstream healthcare utilization after genomic testing to more comprehensively and efficiently identify related services. We also evaluated the effectiveness of different methods for collecting these data. METHODS: We developed a risk-based approach for a trial of newborn genomic sequencing in which we defined primary conditions based on existing diagnoses and family histories of disease and defined secondary conditions based on unexpected findings. We then created patient-specific lists of services associated with managing primary and secondary conditions. Services were quantified based on medical record reviews, surveys, and telephone check-ins with parents. RESULTS: By focusing on services that genomic testing would most likely influence in the short-term, we reduced the number of services in our analyses by more than 90% compared with analyses of all observed services. We also identified the same services that were ordered in response to unexpected findings as were identified during expert review and by confirming whether recommendations were completed. Data also showed that quantifying healthcare utilization with surveys and telephone check-ins alone would have missed the majority of attributable services. CONCLUSIONS: Our risk-based strategy provides an improved approach for assessing the short-term impact of genomic testing and other interventions on healthcare utilization while conforming as much as possible to existing best-practice recommendations.
Wiesner GL, Rahm AK, Appelbaum P, et al. Returning Results in the Genomic Era: Initial Experiences of the eMERGE Network. J Pers Med. 2020;10 (2).Abstract
A goal of the 3rd phase of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE3) Network was to examine the return of results (RoR) of actionable variants in more than 100 genes to consenting participants and their healthcare providers. Each of the 10 eMERGE sites developed plans for three essential elements of the RoR process: Disclosure to the participant, notification of the health care provider, and integration of results into the electronic health record (EHR). Procedures and protocols around these three elements were adapted as appropriate to individual site requirements and limitations. Detailed information about the RoR procedures at each site was obtained through structured telephone interviews and follow-up surveys with the clinical investigator leading or participating in the RoR process at each eMERGE3 institution. Because RoR processes at each of the 10 sites allowed for taking into account differences in population, disease focus and institutional requirements, significant heterogeneity of process was identified, including variability in the order in which patients and clinicians were notified and results were placed in the EHR. This heterogeneity in the process flow for eMERGE3 RoR reflects the "real world" of genomic medicine in which RoR procedures must be shaped by the needs of the patients and institutional environments.
2019
Hylind RJ, Chandler SF, Beausejour Ladouceur V, et al. Phenotypic Characterization of Individuals With Variants in Cardiovascular Genes in the Absence of a Primary Cardiovascular Indication for Testing. Circ Genom Precis Med. 2019;12 (3) :e002463.
Robinson JO, Wynn J, Biesecker B, et al. Psychological outcomes related to exome and genome sequencing result disclosure: a meta-analysis of seven Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) Consortium studies. Genet Med. 2019;21 (12) :2781-2790.Abstract
PURPOSE: As exome and genome sequencing (ES/GS) enters the clinic, there is an urgent need to understand the psychological effects of test result disclosure. Through a Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER), phase 1 (CSER1) Consortium collaboration, we evaluated participants' psychological outcomes across multiple clinical settings. METHODS: We conducted a random effects meta-analysis of state anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS]/Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item), depressive symptoms (HADS/Personal Health Questionnaire 9-item), and multidimensional impact (i.e., test-related distress, uncertainty and positive impact: modified Multidimensional Impact of Cancer Risk Assessment/Feelings About Genomic Testing Results scale). RESULTS: Anxiety and depression did not increase significantly following test result disclosure. Meta-analyses examining mean differences from pre- to postdisclosure revealed an overall trend for a decrease in participants' anxiety. We observed low levels of test-related distress and perceptions of uncertainty in some populations (e.g., pediatric patients) and a wide range of positive responses. CONCLUSION: Our findings across multiple clinical settings suggest no clinically significant psychological harms from the return of ES/GS results. Some populations may experience low levels of test-related distress or greater positive psychological effects. Future research should further investigate the reasons for test-related psychological response variation.
Hart RM, Biesecker BB, Blout CL, et al. Secondary findings from clinical genomic sequencing: prevalence, patient perspectives, family history assessment, and health-care costs from a multisite study. Genet Med. 2019;21 (5) :1100-1110.Abstract
PURPOSE: Clinical sequencing emerging in health care may result in secondary findings (SFs). METHODS: Seventy-four of 6240 (1.2%) participants who underwent genome or exome sequencing through the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) Consortium received one or more SFs from the original American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) recommended 56 gene-condition pair list; we assessed clinical and psychosocial actions. RESULTS: The overall adjusted prevalence of SFs in the ACMG 56 genes across the CSER consortium was 1.7%. Initially 32% of the family histories were positive, and post disclosure, this increased to 48%. The average cost of follow-up medical actions per finding up to a 1-year period was $128 (observed, range: $0-$678) and $421 (recommended, range: $141-$1114). Case reports revealed variability in the frequency of and follow-up on medical recommendations patients received associated with each SF gene-condition pair. Participants did not report adverse psychosocial impact associated with receiving SFs; this was corroborated by 18 participant (or parent) interviews. All interviewed participants shared findings with relatives and reported that relatives did not pursue additional testing or care. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that disclosure of SFs shows little to no adverse impact on participants and adds only modestly to near-term health-care costs; additional studies are needed to confirm these findings.
2018
Christensen KD, Bernhardt BA, Jarvik GP, et al. Anticipated responses of early adopter genetic specialists and nongenetic specialists to unsolicited genomic secondary findings. Genet Med. 2018;20 (10) :1186-1195.Abstract
PURPOSE: Secondary findings from genomic sequencing are becoming more common. We compared how health-care providers with and without specialized genetics training anticipated responding to different types of secondary findings. METHODS: Providers with genomic sequencing experience reviewed five secondary-findings reports and reported attitudes and potential clinical follow-up. Analyses compared genetic specialists and physicians without specialized genetics training, and examined how responses varied by secondary finding. RESULTS: Genetic specialists scored higher than other providers on four-point scales assessing understandings of reports (3.89 vs. 3.42, p = 0.0002), and lower on scales assessing reporting obligations (2.60 vs. 3.51, p < 0.0001) and burdens of responding (1.73 vs. 2.70, p < 0.0001). Nearly all attitudes differed between findings, although genetic specialists were more likely to assert that laboratories had no obligations when findings had less-established actionability (p < 0.0001 in interaction tests). The importance of reviewing personal and family histories, documenting findings, learning more about the variant, and recommending familial discussions also varied according to finding (all p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION: Genetic specialists felt better prepared to respond to secondary findings than providers without specialized genetics training, but perceived fewer obligations for laboratories to report them, and the two groups anticipated similar clinical responses. Findings may inform development of targeted education and support.
Holm IA, Agrawal PB, Ceyhan-Birsoy O, et al. The BabySeq project: implementing genomic sequencing in newborns. BMC Pediatr. 2018;18 (1) :225.Abstract
BACKGROUND: The greatest opportunity for lifelong impact of genomic sequencing is during the newborn period. The "BabySeq Project" is a randomized trial that explores the medical, behavioral, and economic impacts of integrating genomic sequencing into the care of healthy and sick newborns. METHODS: Families of newborns are enrolled from Boston Children's Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital nurseries, and half are randomized to receive genomic sequencing and a report that includes monogenic disease variants, recessive carrier variants for childhood onset or actionable disorders, and pharmacogenomic variants. All families participate in a disclosure session, which includes the return of results for those in the sequencing arm. Outcomes are collected through review of medical records and surveys of parents and health care providers and include the rationale for choice of genes and variants to report; what genomic data adds to the medical management of sick and healthy babies; and the medical, behavioral, and economic impacts of integrating genomic sequencing into the care of healthy and sick newborns. DISCUSSION: The BabySeq Project will provide empirical data about the risks, benefits and costs of newborn genomic sequencing and will inform policy decisions related to universal genomic screening of newborns. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study is registered in ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02422511 . Registration date: 10 April 2015.
Guan Y, Roter DL, Erby LH, et al. Communication Predictors of Patient and Companion Satisfaction with Alzheimer's Genetic Risk Disclosure. J Health Commun. 2018;23 (8) :807-814.Abstract
The objective of this study was to identify how features of Alzheimer's disease (AD) genetic risk disclosure communication relate to patient and visit companion satisfaction. We conducted secondary analyses of 79 session recordings from the fourth REVEAL Study, a randomized-controlled trial of AD genetic risk disclosure among patients with mild cognitive impairment. Patient and companion satisfaction were ascertained from postdisclosure surveys. The Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) was used to code triadic communication between the counselor, patient, and companion. High satisfaction was evident for 24% of patients (N = 19) and 48% of companions (N = 38). Multivariate logistic regressions showed that high patient satisfaction was associated with patients' expression of emotions (OR = 1.1, 95% CI: 1.0-1.1) and companions' questions about psychosocial and lifestyle topics (OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.1-2.8). High companion satisfaction was positively related to the RIAS overall patient-centeredness score for the session (OR = 4.0, 95% CI: 1.0-15.6) (all p-values <0.05). Communication predictors of patient and companion satisfaction reflect specific or summary indicators of patient-centeredness. Findings also suggest that visit companions positively influence patient satisfaction. The study results support the growing literature and policy attention directed toward delivering family-centered care.
Christensen KD, Phillips KA, Green RC, Dukhovny D. Cost Analyses of Genomic Sequencing: Lessons Learned from the MedSeq Project. Value Health. 2018;21 (9) :1054-1061.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To summarize lessons learned while analyzing the costs of integrating whole genome sequencing into the care of cardiology and primary care patients in the MedSeq Project by conducting the first randomized controlled trial of whole genome sequencing in general and specialty medicine. METHODS: Case study that describes key methodological and data challenges that were encountered or are likely to emerge in future work, describes the pros and cons of approaches considered by the study team, and summarizes the solutions that were implemented. RESULTS: Major methodological challenges included defining whole genome sequencing, structuring an appropriate comparator, measuring downstream costs, and examining clinical outcomes. Discussions about solutions addressed conceptual and practical issues that arose because of definitions and analyses around the cost of genomic sequencing in trial-based studies. CONCLUSIONS: The MedSeq Project provides an instructive example of how to conduct a cost analysis of whole genome sequencing that feasibly incorporates best practices while being sensitive to the varied applications and diversity of results it may produce. Findings provide guidance for researchers to consider when conducting or analyzing economic analyses of whole genome sequencing and other next-generation sequencing tests, particularly regarding costs.
Mitchell PB, Ziniel SI, Savage SK, et al. Enhancing Autonomy in Biobank Decisions: Too Much of a Good Thing?. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2018;13 (2) :125-138.Abstract
The opportunity to receive individual research results (IRRs) in accordance with personal preferences may incentivize biobank participation and maximize perceived benefit. This trial investigated the relationship between parents' preferences and intent to participate (ITP) in biobank research utilizing their child's genetic information. We randomized parents of pediatric patients to four hypothetical biobanks, one of which employed a preference-setting model for return of results regarding their child. ITP was highest among those desiring all types of IRRs (93.3%) and decreased as participants became increasingly selective with their preferences ( p < .0001). We demonstrated that most parents would participate in a biobank that allows for preference setting; however, those who set preferences to receive a narrower set of IRRs are less likely to participate.
Guan Y, Roter DL, Wolff JL, et al. The impact of genetic counselors' use of facilitative strategies on cognitive and emotional processing of genetic risk disclosure for Alzheimer's disease. Patient Educ Couns. 2018;101 (5) :817-823.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: To determine the impact of genetic counselor (GC) communication on cognitive and emotional processing of Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk information during discussions with patients with clinical diagnoses of mild cognitive impairment and their companion. METHODS: 79 recordings and transcripts of AD risk disclosure sessions collected as part of the fourth REVEAL Trial were coded using the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) and the Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC). Multilevel analyses were used to determine the association between GCs' use of communication facilitation strategies and patient and companion use of words indicative of cognitive and emotional processing. RESULTS: GC used somewhat more cognitive (14%) than emotional (10%) facilitation strategies. Both patients and companions used more words indicative of cognitive (18% and 17%) than emotional (6% and 5%) processing. GC use of facilitative strategies and patient and companion use of cognitive and emotional processing words were significantly associated in both unadjusted and adjusted models (all p-values<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: GCs' use of facilitative strategies assist in cognitive and emotional processing in a way that may be linked to therapeutic benefit. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: These findings highlight mechanisms through which GCs may assist patients and companions to better understand and cope with risk information.
Phillips KA, Deverka PA, Marshall DA, et al. Methodological Issues in Assessing the Economic Value of Next-Generation Sequencing Tests: Many Challenges and Not Enough Solutions. Value Health. 2018;21 (9) :1033-1042.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Clinical use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests has been increasing, but few studies have examined their economic value. Several studies have noted that there are methodological challenges to conducting economic evaluations of NGS tests. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to examine key methodological challenges for conducting economic evaluations of NGS tests, prioritize these challenges for future research, and identify how studies have attempted solutions to address these challenges. METHODS: We identified challenges for economic evaluations of NGS tests using prior literature and expert judgment of the co-authors. We used a modified Delphi assessment to prioritize challenges, based on importance and probability of resolution. Using a structured literature review and article extraction we then assessed whether published economic evaluations had addressed these challenges. RESULTS: We identified 11 challenges for conducting economic evaluations of NGS tests. The experts identified three challenges as the top priorities for future research: complex model structure, timeframe, and type of analysis and comparators used. Of the 15 published studies included in our literature review, four studies described specific solutions relevant to five of the 11 identified challenges. CONCLUSIONS: Major methodological challenges to economic evaluations of NGS tests remain to be addressed. Our results can be used to guide future research and inform decision-makers on how to prioritize research on the economic assessment of NGS tests.

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