Physicians' Knowledge about Hereditary Breast Cancer in South Korea

국내 임상 의사의 유전성 유방암에 대한 지식도

  • Published : 2007.06.30


Background: Cancer genetics have gained public attention dramatically. Everyday physicians and nurses use the knowledge of cancer genetics in their practices. Despite the importance of the knowledge of the health care providers on cancer genetics, there is a paucity of literature investigating the levels of knowledge about cancer genetics among health care providers. Purpose: This study aimed to describe the Korean physicians' current knowledge level about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC). Method: This nation-wide survey used a 15-item questionnaire which is modified from the Breast Cancer Genetic Counseling Knowledge Questionnaire originally developed by Erblich et al.(2005). One hundred and forty-four physicians participated in this survey from October 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007. Result: Physicians' knowledge level about hereditary breast cancer was 11.94 (S.D=2.46). Physicians with short-term careers (less than one year), the position of Intern, or who were involved in breast or ovarian cancer care demonstrated the highest knowledge about HBOC. Conclusion: Genetic courses in medical education seemed to contribute to the high level of physicians' genetic knowledge. Also, nursing discipline needs to incorporate genetics or genetic counseling courses into the formal educational curriculum in order to deliver up to date cancer care services which are sensitive to ever-changing cancer genetic information.