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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 28

of 'Approach to therapy in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2'

Counselling in multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes: from individual experience to general guidelines.
Lips CJ, Höppener JW, Van Nesselrooij BP, Van der Luijt RB
J Intern Med. 2005;257(1):69.
Counselling of patients and closely related family members has to take a central place in management of hereditary diseases, like multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndromes including von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease. In the strategy of health care, preventive medicine such as periodic clinical examination of families at-risk needs a high priority, because in general it is assumed that continuity in attendance is cost-effective. Counselling has to be based on individual medical experience of the doctor, adjusted to common guidelines and the findings in the family. Information leaflets, appropriate outpatient departments and an extensive network of specialists will facilitate continuity in care. Flow diagrams involving practical guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow up need to be applicable and after adjustment, should be accepted generally. Specially trained paramedics for counselling are required as a network that will guarantee periodic clinical examination and secure optimal prevention. Such paramedics will coordinate nationwide multidisciplinary guidance, and organize preventive and emergency cure for these patients. They will be supervised by expert clinicians in the field, and collaborate with specialists for social and psychological issues, patient organizations and clinical genetic centres. All of these professionals are responsible together for providing patients with up to date clinical information (via newsletters, Internet, etc.). Recently, in the Netherlands, a project was initiated to guarantee continuity in care and study the delivery of care. In order to realize this plan, funding has to be provided in the current research programme. In a future system support has to be obtained on a continuous base, preferably by the government and health care insurers and supervised by the national institute for health care.
Department of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.