Identifying "ownership" through role descriptions to support implementing universal colorectal cancer tumor screening for Lynch syndrome.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics (2017)


PurposeLynch syndrome cases are underidentified, and universal colorectal cancer tumor screening for Lynch syndrome (UTS) has been recommended. UTS implementation is challenging and few successful examples exist to date, and colorectal cancer patients and at-risk family members exhibit low uptake of genetic services. This study sought to identify the elements that could guide the choice of specialties to implement UTS through three main stages: initiating the screen, returning positive screen results, and providing follow-up.MethodsTo understand stakeholder views on the UTS process, 20 semistructured interviews were conducted with clinicians from six medical specialties crucial for implementing UTS. Data were analyzed using directed content analysis and additional thematic analysis across content categories.ResultsSeveral clinical specialties could fill necessary roles at each of the main stages of UTS implementation. Participants suggested owners based on attributes of specialty roles, clinical settings, and the routes patients take through the system.ConclusionUTS is considered possible in a range of health-care settings, with tailoring. Health systems need to choose who best fills the role's needs based on local resources and processes. These results offer implementation guidance based on role needs, not clinical specialty, in resolving the issue of UTS "ownership."GENETICS in MEDICINE advance online publication, 4 May 2017; doi:10.1038/gim.2017.39.