Genetics/genomics education for nongenetic health professionals: a systematic literature review. Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: The completion of the Human Genome Project has enhanced avenues for disease prevention, diagnosis, and management. Owing to the shortage of genetic professionals, genetics/genomics training has been provided to nongenetic health professionals for years to establish their genomic competencies. We conducted a systematic literature review to summarize and evaluate the existing genetics/genomics education programs for nongenetic health professionals. METHODS: Five electronic databases were searched from January 1990 to June 2016. RESULTS: Forty-four studies met our inclusion criteria. There was a growing publication trend. Program participants were mainly physicians and nurses. The curricula, which were most commonly provided face to face, included basic genetics; applied genetics/genomics; ethical, legal, and social implications of genetics/genomics; and/or genomic competencies/recommendations in particular professional fields. Only one-third of the curricula were theory-based. The majority of studies adopted a pre-/post-test design and lacked follow-up data collection. Nearly all studies reported participants' improvements in one or more of the following areas: knowledge, attitudes, skills, intention, self-efficacy, comfort level, and practice. However, most studies did not report participants' age, ethnicity, years of clinical practice, data validity, and data reliability. CONCLUSION: Many genetics/genomics education programs for nongenetic health professionals exist. Nevertheless, enhancement in methodological quality is needed to strengthen education initiatives.Genet Med advance online publication 20 October 2016.

published proceedings

  • Genet Med

altmetric score

  • 11.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Talwar, D., Tseng, T., Foster, M., Xu, L., & Chen, L.

citation count

  • 60

complete list of authors

  • Talwar, Divya||Tseng, Tung-Sung||Foster, Margaret||Xu, Lei||Chen, Lei-Shih

publication date

  • January 2017