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Category ‘Health services research’ – iKNOW

Project leads (Berlin, Charité):

  • PD Dr. Dorothee Speiser
  • PD Dr. Friederike Kendel

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Development and evaluation of an online-based counseling tool for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers

Women who carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have access to a range of screening and  preventive measures, including prophylactic surgery. A thorough understanding of the risks involved is essential so that women can make an informed decision.

Genetic counseling remains hugely challenging, and involves the communication of highly complex information regarding a woman’s risk of developing different types of cancer. Physicians have to explain complex information to counselees, including disease risk over different time periods and guideline-based advice regarding possible treatment options. In most cases, counseling sessions are restricted to 45 to 60 minutes. The situation is further complicated by the pace of scientific progress, which results in rapid changes to the evidence base.

As part of the iKNOW project, researchers will develop and evaluate an online conseling tool that shall:

  1. Support physicians in providing a standardized and evidence-based counseling service.
  2. Present highly complex information in a structured way, using simple language. Store relevant content and make it accessible even after the end of the consultation.
  3. Have the capacity to allow relevant adjustments to the risk calculations and information on risk management strategies available, thus ensuring consulting physicians the access to up-to-date information in a simple-to-understand format.

The project is funded for four years until 31.03.2022 with a total of €740,000. In case of successful evaluation, the consultation tool will be part of standard care and the counseling concept may be transferred to other counseling scenarios.


PD Dr. Dorothee Speiser
Klinik für Gynäkologie mit Brustzentrum
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Charitéplatz 1
10117 Berlin
t: +49 30 450 564 172

PD Dr. Friederike Kendel
Institute of Gender in Medicine (GIM)
Prevention Research Group
Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin
t: +49 30 450 525 327

Members of consortium

  • TU Berlin, Institut für Psychologie und Arbeitswissenschaft