Perspectives on the Clinical Use of Pharmacogenetic Testing in Late-Life Mental Healthcare: A Survey of the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry Membership

The American journal of geriatric psychiatry : official journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 6:S1064-7481(21)00490-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jagp.2021.09.013. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To assess perspectives on pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing among members of the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP).

DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey.

PARTICIPANTS: Members of the AAGP.

MEASUREMENTS: Anonymous web-based survey consisting of 41 items covering experiences, indications, barriers, facilitators and ethical, legal and social implications for PGx testing.

RESULTS: A total of 124 surveys were completed (response rate = 13%). Most respondents (60%) had used PGx testing but an equal proportion (58%) was uncertain about the clinical usefulness of PGx testing in late-life mental health. Despite self-reported confidence in the ability to order and interpret PGx testing, 60% of respondents felt there was not enough clinical evidence for them to use PGx testing in their practice. This was compounded by uncertainties related to their ethical obligation and legal liability when interpreting and using (or not using) PGx testing results. Respondents strongly affirmed that clinical and legal guidelines for PGx testing in older adults are needed and would be helpful.

CONCLUSION: The findings suggest additional PGx research and physician education in late-life mental healthcare settings is required to reconcile uncertainties related to the clinical efficacy and ethico-legal aspects of PGx testing as well as address current knowledge barriers to testing uptake. These efforts would be further facilitated by the development of clinical practice guidelines to ensure equitable access to testing and standardized implementation of PGx-informed prescribing in older adults.

PMID:34740522 | DOI:10.1016/j.jagp.2021.09.013


Chad A Bousman
Anita Oomen
Chaten D Jessel
Rajesh R Tampi
Brent P Forester
Harris A Eyre
Helen Lavretsky
Daniel J Müller