Patient-centered care and genomic medicine: A qualitative provider study in the military health system

Lydia D. Hellwig*, Clesson Turner, Suzanne C. O’Neill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The diagnostic and predictive information produced by genomic sequencing may impact medical management, and it is critical that providers and institutions are able to use this information appropriately for patient care. Guided by the patient-centered care model, we investigated provider perspectives of patient, provider, and system-level factors that could influence the implementation of genomic medicine within the integrated healthcare system of the US Department of Defense (DOD). The purpose of this study was to explore patient-centered care elements related to the application of genomic sequencing in a military healthcare facility to understand the current capability and key gaps for patient-centered genomic medicine. Twenty DOD healthcare providers were interviewed regarding their past experiences and future expectations of genetics and genomics. These semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. All providers interviewed had some experience with genetics, but the level of experience varied greatly. Providers reported widely differing degrees of knowledge and confidence regarding genetics and about military-specific policies regarding genetics which varied by specialty. In addition, most providers stated that their department did not currently have the infrastructure to allow for the care of patients with secondary genetic findings, defined as genetic findings which are intentionally examined because of their importance to healthcare management, but are unrelated to the reason the individual underwent sequencing. This study reveals gaps in key elements of patient-centered care related to genomic medicine that may be helpful to address in future implementation efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940-949
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • education
  • genetic literacy
  • genome sequencing
  • genomics
  • health promotion
  • military
  • patient-centered care
  • secondary findings
  • service delivery models


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