Genetics/genomics education for nongenetic health professionals: a systematic literature review
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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.
author list (cited authors)
Talwar, D., Tseng, T., Foster, M., Xu, L., & Chen, L.