Study protocol: a cluster randomized controlled trial of web-based decision support tools for increasing BRCA1/2 genetic counseling referral in primary care

Silverman, Thomas B.; Vanegas, Alejandro; Marte, Awilda; Mata, Jennie; Sin, Margaret; Ramirez, Juan C. R.; Tsai, Wei-Yann; Crew, Katherine; Kukafka, Rita

BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations confer a substantial breast risk of developing breast cancer to those who carry them. For this reason, the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended that all women be screened in the primary care setting for a family history indicative of a mutation, and women with strong family histories of breast or ovarian cancer be referred to genetic counseling. However, few high-risk women are being routinely screened and fewer are referred to genetic counseling. To address this need we have developed two decision support tools that are integrated into clinical care.

This study is a cluster randomized controlled trial of high-risk patients and their health care providers. Patient-provider dyads will be randomized to receive either standard education that is supplemented with the patient-facing decision aid, RealRisks, and the provider-facing Breast Cancer Risk Navigation Toolbox (BNAV) or standard education alone. We will assess these tools’ effectiveness in promoting genetic counseling uptake and informed and shared decision making about genetic testing.

If found to be effective, these tools can help integrate genomic risk assessment into primary care and, ultimately, help expand access to risk-appropriate breast cancer prevention options to a broader population of high-risk women.

Trial registration
This trial is retrospectively registered with Identifier:

: 20 March 2018.


  • thumnail for 12913_2018_Article_3442.pdf 12913_2018_Article_3442.pdf application/pdf 1.99 MB Download File

Also Published In

BMC Health Services Research

More About This Work


Breast Cancer prevention, Decision support, Risk communication, Genetic testing