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Genetic Counselors’ Perspectives on Limited-English Proficient Patients’ Access to Telemedicine Services Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sasseville, Bailey Caroline (2022) Genetic Counselors’ Perspectives on Limited-English Proficient Patients’ Access to Telemedicine Services Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Service delivery models (SDMs) used to provide genetic counseling services to patients have expanded in recent years. Counseling that was conducted almost solely in face-to-face settings can now be conducted via telephone, or via video conference, also known as telemedicine. Telemedicine has been shown to expand services and maintain patient satisfaction (Raspa et al., 2021). During the COVID-19 pandemic, many medical systems and their healthcare professionals, including genetic counselors (GCs), rapidly implemented telemedicine services to continue providing necessary services. Limited-English proficient (LEP) patients, who already experience health inequities, may have been negatively affected by this change: 47% of GCs experienced barriers in seeing specific populations during the pandemic, including patients who need interpreter services (Pan et al., 2021).
There is currently limited information describing the impact of this shift to telemedicine on the LEP patient population. A survey was distributed to GCs via the NSGC listserv. Out of 45 respondents, 80% (n=36) increased telemedicine because of COVID-19. Twenty-nine (64.4%) believed LEP patients experienced barriers in accessing GC services because of the pandemic, and 44.4% (n=20) believed increasing telemedicine services contributed to barriers. Twenty-five (55.6%) prefer in-person counseling of LEP patients, while 44.4% (n=20) were unsure what LEP patients prefer. In response to open-ended questions, participants noted limitations including technical difficulties, insufficient interpreters, and lack of GC training. Benefits of telemedicine included convenience and flexibility. Responses also suggested the need to tailor the SDM to patients’ individual needs.
Identification of these barriers lays the groundwork in the process to expand genetic counseling services in a thoughtful and inclusive manner and to reduce health inequities. This study is important to public health because in a profession made up overwhelmingly of English-speaking, White individuals, identifying barriers in provision of services to diverse and underserved populations is essential to providing equitable services.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sasseville, Bailey Carolinebcs56@pitt.edubcs56
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGrubs, Robin Ergrubs@pitt.edurgrubs
Committee MemberOrtiz, Damaradamara.ortiz@chp.edu
Committee MemberBerman, Natasha Robinnatasha.berman@chp.edu
Date: 12 May 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 11 April 2022
Approval Date: 12 May 2022
Submission Date: 25 April 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 112
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Genetic Counseling
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: telegenetics telemedicine COVID-19 Limited-English proficiency genetic counseling Interpreter Inequities
Date Deposited: 12 May 2022 14:24
Last Modified: 12 May 2022 14:24
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/42741

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  • Genetic Counselors’ Perspectives on Limited-English Proficient Patients’ Access to Telemedicine Services Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. (deposited 12 May 2022 14:24) [Currently Displayed]

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