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Genetic testing in intellectual disability psychiatry: opinions and practices of UK child and ID psychiatrists

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Christine Russell Patch, Kate Wolfe, Kersten Steuber, Andrew McQuillan, Jichi Fatima, Frances Flinter, Andre Strydom, Nick Bass

Original languageEnglish
Early online date23 Aug 2017
Accepted/In press3 Jul 2017
E-pub ahead of print23 Aug 2017


  • Genetic testing in intellectual_PATCH_Publishedonline3July2017_GREEN AAM

    Genetic_testing_in_intellectual_PATCH_Publishedonline3July2017_GREEN_AAM.pdf, 472 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:16 Aug 2017

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

    This is the peer reviewed version of an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities (Wiley, 2017). It will be published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

King's Authors


Background: An increasing number of genetic causes of intellectual disabilities (ID) are identifiable by clinical genetic testing, offering the prospect of bespoke patient management. However little is known about the practices of psychiatrists and their views on genetic testing.

Method: We undertook an online survey of 215 psychiatrists, who were contacted via the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Child and Adolescent and Intellectual Disability Psychiatry mailing lists.

Results: In comparison to child and adolescent psychiatrists, ID psychiatrists ordered more genetic tests, referred more patients to genetic services, and were overall more confident in the genetic testing process. Respondents tended to agree that genetic diagnoses can help patient management, however management changes were infrequently found in clinical practice.

Conclusions: Differences are apparent in the existing views and practices of child and adolescent and ID psychiatrists. Developing training and collaboration with colleagues working in genetic services could help to reduce discrepancies and improve clinical practice.

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