A balancing act—Telehealth cancer genetics and practitioners’ experiences of a triadic consultation
Zilliacus, E., Meiser, B., Lobb, E., Barlow-Stewart, K., & Tucker, K. (2009). A balancing act—Telehealth cancer genetics and practitioners’ experiences of a triadic consultation. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 18(6), 598-605. doi:10.1007/s10897-009-9247-7
Telehealth is increasingly used for outreach service in cancer genetic counseling; however what occurs during the consultation and the roles practitioners adopt is largely unknown. Fifteen practitioners participated in semi-structured interviews that explored their roles within telehealth, compared to face-to-face consultations, and the relationship between practitioners during telehealth. As they were not physically present with the patient, most participants felt that telehealth altered the genetic clinician’s role to one of a ‘visiting specialist’. Genetic counselors described undertaking multiple roles during the telehealth process. Two models of interaction were observed. The medical model reduced the interaction to a dyadic consultation by having the genetic counselor off-screen and included minimal clinician meetings and supervision. The triadic co-facilitation model incorporated a high level of information exchange, counselor autonomy and included the counselor onscreen. The co-facilitation model offers a useful framework for telehealth genetic counselling, offering complementary roles between practitioners and efficient service delivery.
peer-reviewed, genetic counseling, telehealth, cancer, triadic relationship