Predictors of physician comfort in using pharmacogenomics data in clinical practice: A cross-sectional study
Objective: Utilization of pharmacogenomics data in clinical practice is a critical step towards individual and precision medicine. This is a cross-sectional study conducted by incorporating several variables as outlined in the survey report to assess and analyze the reasons or behaviors that could influence clinicians to use or not use pharmacogenomics.
Methods: In this study, we conducted a cross-sectional quantitative survey among primary physicians practicing in Kettering Health Network facilities. 1,201 invitations were sent out and 135 Physicians participated in the survey. Physicians were requested by email to participate in a survey containing 14 multiple choice questions regarding their understanding and beliefs regarding pharmacogenomics, as well as questions about specific professional details which were intended to explore how physician characteristics affected familiarity, and comfort and confidence in using pharmacogenomics data in patient care. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (standard version 25) was used for statistical analysis and consent was obtained from all study participants through the survey link.
Results: The ratings of the familiarly, comfort, and confidence with pharmacogenetics were highly intercorrelated (r = 0.81-0.87). Accordingly, we summed the three ratings to form a composite score of the three items; hereafter referred to as “scale scores”. Possible scores ranged from 5 to 15, whereas actual scores ranged from 3 to 15 (Mean = 6.32, SD = 3.12). Scale scores were not statistically significantly correlated with age (r = 0.12, p < 0.17) or number of years in practice (r = 0.11, p < 0.22), and were only weakly (inversely) correlated with number of hours spent in patient care each week (r = -0.17, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: In our study, physicians who had some education in the field of pharmacogenomics were more likely to use pharmacogenomics data in clinical practice. We have further characterized that continuing medical education (CME), more than medical education or residency training significantly predicts familiarity, confidence, or comfort in using pharmacogenomics data. Therefore, pharmacogenomics should be integrated in the CME for practicing clinicians as well as graduate medical education.
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