Providers' behavioral beliefs regarding the delivery of genomic medicine at the Veterans Health Administration

Nedal Arar, Joann Seo, Hanna E. Abboud, Michael Parchman, Polly Noel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aims: To examine providers behavioral intention toward the utilization of genomic services at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA; Washington, DC, USA) through the lens of the 'Theory of Planned Behavior. The theory of planned behavior posits that individuals behaviors (using genomic services) are driven by their behavioral intentions. Behavioral intentions is a function of: first, behavioral beliefs; second, normative beliefs, and third; control beliefs. Materials & methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 providers working in different units at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS; TX USA). The interviews focused on assessing providers behavioral beliefs, normative beliefs and control beliefs regarding the delivery of genomic medicine at the STVHCS. Interview materials were tape recorded, transcribed and the content was analyzed using qualitative methods. Results: All participating providers perceived genomic medicine to be an important area in medicine (behavioral beliefs). They agreed that the VHA has the necessary infrastructure to foster the delivery of genomic services. The majority of participants (n = 18; 90%) agreed that primary care providers will play a major role in delivering genomic services. Providers indicated that referents (other providers) opinions about genomic services may affect their decisions about whether to utilize genomic services (normative beliefs). However, most providers (n = 17; 85%) raised concerns about the impact of using genomic services on the process of care (control beliefs). Participants indicated that additional training for providers and patients, and decision support will facilitate the delivery of genomic services (control beliefs). Providers also identified three external barriers: first, uncertainty about genomic findings; second, coordination of care between primary care, specialists and genetic services (system level barriers); and third ethical issues associated with genomic information and services. Conclusion: Our findings highlight several opportunities and challenges related to the delivery of genomic medicine at the VHA. The results suggest that strategies to address providers concerns in the control beliefs domain may be necessary to enhance providers utilization of genomic services in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-494
Number of pages10
JournalPersonalized Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


  • Veterans Health Administration
  • behavioral intentions
  • genomic medicine
  • genomic services
  • theory of planned behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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