Social Representations of Pharmacogenetic Testing in Clinical Practice: How to Speed up Knowledge Transfer?

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Marie-Eve BLACKBURN, ÉCOBES-Recherche et transfert, Canada
Camelia DUFOUR, Cegep de Jonquiere, Canada
Marie-Pier FRIGON, Université de Montréal, Canada
Suzie TARDIF, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, Canada
Karine TREMBLAY, Université de Montréal, Canada
Introduction: Some pharmacogenetic tests (PGt) are recommended by Health Canada when prescribing drugs that can cause adverse events or be ineffective according to specific gene variants. However, medical professionals do not apply PGt testing in Quebec (Canada), even if the possible advantages, such as improved therapeutic dosage and response, are generally well-recognized.

Objectives: In this original research, objectives are 1) to understand how medical professionals and patients stand with regard to PGt and 2) to make recommendations to improve the social acceptability of PGt and knowledge transfer.

Methods: We have conducted six focus groups in the Saguenay−Lac-Saint-Jean region (Quebec, Canada): two groups composed of general practitioners (GPs) (n=25), two groups composed of pharmacists (n=11) and two groups composed of patients (n=30). Part of the interview was based on real-life situations with drug examples that are commonly prescribed. In addition, we had asked all participants about their knowledge and perception of genetics in medical practice and what could be the roles of different professionals in regards to PGt.

Results: The data highlighted a willingness in regards to PGt application in all interviewed groups, but it also highlighted the central role of social representations on the acceptability of this technology. GPs and pharmacists had expressed the limitation of implementation of PGt in healthcare system mainly because of a lack of information about the accessibility of these tests, the delay of obtaining results, cost-benefits studies and ethical considerations. The patients were generally in agreement with the PGt and they trusted the medical professionals.

Conclusion: We have been able to highlight the social representations of PGt which have led to a set of recommendations that could help better apply PGt knowledge in clinical practice.