Public health genomics knowledge and attitudes: a survey of public health educators in the United States.
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PURPOSE: This study assessed U.S. public health educators' attitudes toward genomic competencies, their awareness of efforts in the health promotion field to promote/incorporate genomics, and their basic & applied genomic knowledge. METHODS: A total of 1607 public health educators, nationwide, responded to a web-based survey. RESULTS: The sample comprised predominantly white (76.8%) female (83.9%) participants, with an average age of 40.1 years and 11.2 years of practice in public health education/promotion. Generally, participants had negative attitudes toward genomic competencies, low awareness, and deficient genomic knowledge. Although various socioeconomic characteristics (e.g., ethnicity, gender, and educational level) correlated with participants' attitudes, awareness, and genomic knowledge, training in genetics/genomics or public health genomics also exhibited a positive association. After we controlled for socioeconomic factors, awareness, training, and genomic knowledge remained significantly associated with respondents' attitudes toward genomic competencies. CONCLUSION: Although this sample of public health educators had unfavorable attitudes and limited genomic knowledge, training seems to affect these variables. Thus, relevant training for this group of health professionals should be developed and advocated. Continuing education tools, focusing on public health genomics content, might be a venue for delivery of information and the development of favorable professional attitudes.
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Chen, Lei-Shih||Goodson, Patricia