Genetic counsellors in Sweden: their role and added value in the clinical setting.
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Genetic testing is becoming more commonplace in general and specialist health care and should always be accompanied by genetic counselling, according to Swedish law. Genetic counsellors are members of the multi-disciplinary team providing genetic counselling. This study examined the role and added value of genetic counsellors in Sweden, using a cross-sectional on-line survey. The findings showed that the genetic counsellors added value in the clinical setting by acting as the 'spider-in-the-web' regarding case management, having a more holistic, ethical and psychological perspective, being able to offer continuous support and build a relationship with the patient, and being more accessible than medical geneticists. The main difference between a genetic counsellor and medical geneticist was that the doctor had the main medical responsibility. Thus genetic counsellors in Sweden contribute substantially to the care of patients in the clinical genetic setting.
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