Whilst scientifically and clinically transformational, advances in human genomic research are outstripping the capacity of health systems to implement them effectively. The capability to identify hereditary cancer genes, and manage those patients who carry them, are key examples of this phenomenon.
In this presentation, a range of studies relating to the implementation of guidelines for the identification and management of patients with hereditary cancer genes, with a particular focus on colorectal cancer, will be outlined. Theory grounded approaches to behaviour change will be covered, including an overview of process mapping to highlight target behaviours for change, validated tools to identify psychosocial barriers to clinical practice change, evidence based behaviour change techniques for intervention development, implementation principles for facilitating translation, and methods of evaluation. The role of the healthcare professional on facilitating information dissemination to family members of patients with hereditary cancer, including their intuitive use of theory during intervention design in this space, will also be covered. Experiences of involving patients in the design and roll out of clinical practice change research will be discussed.
The health system is likely to be overwhelmed with low incidence but resource intensive problems as genomic testing becomes mainstream and the number of low incidence hereditary cancers or syndromes revealed grows. It is crucial for health researchers, practitioners and patients to work together to test methods and provide health systems with generalizable solutions to address this challenge.