Knowledge, attitude, and perceptions about cancer genetic testing in clinical practice in Karachi, Pakistan

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan


Healthcare professionals (HCP) play an important role in the practical application of genetic screening tests but often feel inadequately prepared for cancer genetic testing (CGT) in clinical care. As the complexity of gene-related malignancies increases, it demands HCPs' preparedness to cater to patients' needs. Therefore, the aim of our study is to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of HCPs in Pakistan regarding the application of cancer genetics. Our cross-sectional survey was conducted from April 2022 to June 2022 amongst HCPs at a private and a governmental institution in Karachi, Pakistan. Non-probability random convenience sampling was used to select the population; however. non-clinical HCPs, as well as Interns, were excluded from our study. A total of 210 HCPs, 56.7% (119) bearing an experience of over 5 years of clinical experience, were included in this study. Most respondents from both hospitals deemed their knowledge inadequate, with only 2% (2) and 1.8% (2) being extremely knowledgeable, respectively. 68.6% (144) HCPs displayed a positive attitude towards CGT, with 55.2% (116) participants perceiving CGT in a positive light. As compared to the private sector, significantly more HCPs in the public sector dedicated ≥ 5 h/week for CME (P = 0.006), and were better prepared to counsel patients (P = 0.021) and interpret results concerning CGT (P = 0.020). Additionally, screening tests for specific cancer types were popularly considered a worthwhile avenue of investment to improve the current state of CGT in our healthcare system [47.6% (N = 100)]. Demonstrating a lack of knowledge among Pakistani doctors, our results call upon the need for additional training concerning CGT in both the public and private sectors alike. Understanding specific gaps in knowledge may further help enhance post-graduate training programs and eventually lead to effective incorporation of CGT into our healthcare setting.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Community Genetics