More than 83% of primary care providers (PCPs) wish more of their patients would talk to them about mental health issues and concerns so they can provide better overall care, according to the latest GeneSight® Mental Health Monitor, a nationwide survey from Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN). Yet, results of the Spring 2022 survey showed only 1 in 4 patients were given a depression screening by their PCP.
More than half of surveyed clinicians don’t think patients are aware that PCPs and nurse practitioners (NPs) are fully trained to diagnose and treat mental health conditions.
“When a patient comes into my practice, they may not even be aware that their symptoms could indicate depression, anxiety or another mental health condition,” said Michele Long, a nurse practitioner in Lancaster, Ohio. “It would be great if patients knew it was ok to bring up their concerns. However, it’s also my responsibility to ask the right questions – either by having my patient complete a mental health screening or just asking them myself.”
More than half of PCPs said they wait to discuss specific mental health disorders like depression and anxiety until a patient raises a concern, or when the results of a screening/evaluation indicate the need.
“I felt comfortable talking with Michele about my mental health challenges because she created a warm and nurturing environment,” said Beth, a patient of Michele Long. “Having her acknowledge my symptoms and recognize the struggles I was having – both with my depression and the medications I was taking for it that weren’t working – made me feel validated.”
Treating vs referring: the primary care challenge
More than six in 10 (63%) PCPs/NPs have increased referrals to mental health specialists over the past two years, despite the shortage in available care.
“Primary care providers are now fighting two battles at once: more and more patients are experiencing mental health challenges, but there are fewer specialists available to send them to,” said Fred Fantazzia, general manager, Mental Health, Myriad Genetics. “PCPs want to provide quality mental healthcare so their patients can have a better chance at an improved quality of life, and the GeneSight test is a tool that may help them to do that.”
According to the GeneSight Mental Health Monitor, only 18% of responding prescribers in primary care use an available tool like pharmacogenomic testing to help inform their mental health medication treatment plan.
Pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing, such as the GeneSight Psychotropic test, may help PCPs manage their patients’ mental health. The GeneSight test analyzes clinically important genetic variations which may impact how a patient metabolizes and responds to certain FDA-approved medications used in the treatment of depression, anxiety, ADHD and other mental health conditions. The test is intended to supplement other information considered by a clinician as part of a comprehensive medical evaluation.
Before seeing Michele, Beth saw another doctor who ordered depression medication, but it didn’t help her feel better; in fact, she said “I felt no emotions at all.” Michele ordered the GeneSight test for Beth and used the information to change her prescription. Today, Beth says she “feels so much better” and more like herself.
The report provides clinicians with information about which medications may require dose adjustments, be less likely to work, or have an increased risk of side effects based on a patient’s genetic information.
“Using GeneSight has significantly reduced the number of referrals I make to other specialists,” said Paul Linson, a nurse practitioner with the Good Clinic in Minneapolis. “GeneSight helps me get to the ‘why’: why they may have been failed by medications in the past, why they may need to try a medication again, giving it more time to work.”
About the GeneSight Mental Health Monitor
The GeneSight Mental Health Monitor is a nationwide survey of primary care physicians and nurse practitioners conducted online by ACUPOLL Precision Research, Inc. from August 16 – 30, 2022. The margin of error in survey results for the total base population at a 95% confidence interval is +/- 4%
About the GeneSight® Test
The GeneSight Psychotropic test from Myriad Genetics is the category-leading pharmacogenomic test for 64 medications commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other psychiatric conditions. The GeneSight test can help inform clinicians about how a patient’s genes may impact how they metabolize and/or respond to certain psychiatric medications. Tens of thousands of clinicians have ordered the GeneSight test for more than 2 million patients in order to receive genetic information that is unique to each patient. The GeneSight test supplements other information considered by a clinician as part of a comprehensive medical assessment. Learn more at GeneSight.com.
About Myriad Genetics
Myriad Genetics is a leading genetic testing and precision medicine company dedicated to advancing health and well-being for all. Myriad develops and offers genetic tests that help assess the risk of developing disease or disease progression and guide treatment decisions across medical specialties where genetic insights can significantly improve patient care and lower healthcare costs. Fast Company named Myriad among the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2022. For more information, visit www.myriad.com.
Myriad, the Myriad logo, BRACAnalysis, BRACAnalysis CDx, Colaris, Colaris AP, MyRisk, Myriad MyRisk, MyRisk Hereditary Cancer, MyChoice CDx, Prequel, Prequel with Amplify, Amplify, Foresight, Precise, FirstGene, SneakPeek, Health.Illuminated., RiskScore, Prolaris, UroSuite, GeneSight, and EndoPredict are trademarks or registered trademarks of Myriad Genetics, Inc. © 2022 Myriad Genetics, Inc. All rights reserved.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the benefits of the GeneSight Psychotropic test. These “forward-looking statements” are based on management’s expectations of future events as of the date hereof and are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, conditions, and events to differ materially and adversely from those anticipated. Such factors include those risks described in the company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on February 25, 2022, as well as any updates to those risk factors filed from time to time in the company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K.