Stakeholder Views on Active Cascade Screening for Familial Hypercholesterolemia

Carla G van El, Valentina Baccolini, Peter Piko, Martina C Cornel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), carriers profit from presymptomatic diagnosis and early treatment. Due to the autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance, first degree relatives of patients are at 50% risk. A program to identify healthy relatives at risk of premature cardiovascular problems, funded by the Netherlands government until 2014, raised questions on privacy and autonomy in view of the chosen active approach of family members. Several countries are building cascade screening programs inspired by Dutch experience, but meanwhile, the Netherlands’ screening program itself is in transition. Insight in stakeholders’ views on approaching family members is lacking. Literature and policy documents were studied, and stakeholders were interviewed on pros and cons of actively approaching healthy relatives. Sociotechnical analysis explored new roles and responsibilities, with uptake, privacy, autonomy, psychological burden, resources, and awareness as relevant themes. Stakeholders agree on the importance of early diagnosis and informing the family. Dutch healthcare typically focuses on cure, rather than prevention. Barriers to cascade screening are paying an own financial contribution, limited resources for informing relatives, and privacy regulation. To benefit from predictive, personalized, and preventive medicine, the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in genetic testing as a preventive strategy, and informing family members, need to be carefully realigned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108
Number of pages1
JournalHealthcare
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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