Effectiveness of a Web-based genomics training for health educators in Texas.
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PURPOSE: With advanced genomic developments, better prevention strategies are available via personalized genomic services. Because there is a shortage of genetic professionals, and primary-care providers are overwhelmed with routine practice, involving health educators--whose expertise includes educating the general public and promoting healthy behavior--to provide basic genomics education may facilitate better services. We developed the first evidence- and theory-based family health history Web-based training for Texas health educators. This report presents its evaluation results. METHODS: Approximately one-third of Texas health educators holding (Master) Certified Health Education Specialist designation (~40% were racial/ethnic minorities) participated in the family health history Web-based training. Attitudes, self-efficacy, intention, knowledge, and practice were assessed at baseline, immediately after training, and 3 months posttraining. Qualitative data were collected to provide additional evaluation findings. RESULTS: Participants significantly improved their attitudes, knowledge, intention, and self-efficacy regarding family health history education, immediately posttraining and after 3 months. The number of participants practicing family health history was significantly increased. Participants' overall assessment of the program was positive. CONCLUSION: This family health history Web-based training successfully increased the number of genomically competent and culturally diverse Texas health educators. Ongoing efforts are needed to sustain and expand this education as well as to disseminate it to all health educators in the United States.