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ObjectivesThe aim of this study was to investigate the appropriateness of primary care referrals to the Oxford Regional Genetics Service on account of a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer and to explore GPs' expectations following a referral.MethodsFifty consecutive GP referrers were sent a questionnaire post-referral, and their referral letters were reviewed.ResultsThe study achieved a high response rate (94%) and showed that many GPs did not know which patients warrant referral to the genetics service and that they had unrealistic expectations of what happens at the clinic.ConclusionsIf GPs are to fulfil their gatekeeper role effectively, and possibly become more involved in the delivery of genetic services in the future, it is clear that they require further education in this area.

Original publication




Journal article


Family practice

Publication Date





131 - 134


CRC Primary Care Education Research Group, Department of Primary Health Care, University of Oxford, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK.


Humans, Breast Neoplasms, Ovarian Neoplasms, Chi-Square Distribution, Family Practice, Physicians, Family, Referral and Consultation, Quality of Health Care, England, Female, Surveys and Questionnaires, Practice Patterns, Physicians'