Assessment of a glossary on patient satisfaction and anxiety levels in an oncology genetic counseling clinic
Patients who attend genetic counseling appointments report high anxiety and varied satisfaction levels following their appointments. It has been suggested in previous literature that some of the increase in anxiety and reduction in satisfaction is caused by lack of prior information. Here, I investigated whether providing patients with a glossary of genetic terms prior to their counseling appointment improves patient satisfaction and reduces anxiety in an oncology genetic counseling appointment. I surveyed 96 patients attending their first genetic counseling appointment at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and analyzed 92 patients for which I had complete data. Patients were randomly selected to receive one of two folders, containing either an educational document or an educational document and a glossary comprised of ten genetic terms. Each patient was given a post-counseling survey at the end of the counseling appointment to assess their anxiety and satisfaction levels. I did not observe a statistically significant difference in levels of anxiety or satisfaction, but the data are consistent with increased satisfaction for patients who received a glossary. Interesting, the data are also consistent with decreased anxiety levels for patients who did not receive a glossary. Furthermore, I did observe differences in reported satisfaction with patients who had college experience and patients that did not have any college experience.