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A unique service: how an embedded psychology team can help patients and genetics clinicians within a clinical genetics service

Abstract

The Genetics service at Guy’s hospital has dedicated in-house psychology provision aimed at supporting patients embarking on genetic testing through to coping with the aftermath of genetic diagnoses. This provision offers assessment and intervention within a brief 6-session therapy model and provides a range of therapeutic approaches. Patient satisfaction with the service is high and referral rates have greatly increased over the recent years. The Psychology Team also provides indirect support for patients as well as support for the Genetics Team such as contributing to MDT and informal case discussions, as well as teaching and training clinicians about psychological concepts. There are many advantages to having an embedded psychology service both for patients and genetics clinicians, such as good opportunities for liaising around referrals and conducting joint clinical sessions, as well as being easily able to identify psychological training needs. The service plans to further develop by offering group interventions and training opportunities to doctoral psychology trainees. We conclude that clinical psychologists can play a highly integral and essential role in the provision of psychosocial support for clinical genetics teams and provide an overview of the first such integrated clinical psychology service within clinical genetics in the United Kingdom.

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The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Correspondence to Clare Firth or Vishakha Tripathi.

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Firth, C., Tripathi, V., Kowalski Bellamy, A. et al. A unique service: how an embedded psychology team can help patients and genetics clinicians within a clinical genetics service. Eur J Hum Genet 30, 955–959 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41431-022-01112-y

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