August 2nd, 2021

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Provider Knowledge, Comfort with, and Training on Genetics Screening and Diagnostic Testing: Assessing Educational Needs
Authors:  Arlin Delgado, M.D., Jay Schulkin, Ph.D., Raina Kaji, B.S., and Charles J. Macri, M.D.
  OBJECTIVE: To assess provider knowledge, comfort with counseling, formal training, and educational needs regarding prenatal genetic screening and diagnostic testing.

STUDY DESIGN: A onetime anonymous online survey distributed to all providers at a major urban Obstetrics and Gynecology department. Descriptive statistics were analyzed, and categorical variables were tested using Fisher’s exact test.

RESULTS: A total of 66 (29%) providers responded from varying training backgrounds. Of those, 18.8% of medical doctors, residents, nurse practitioners, and certified midwives reported no formal training, and only 25% of medical doctors reported continuing medical education (CME) classes; 18.8% reported never having received formal training. Prior training was significantly associated with increased comfort in counseling on screening options (p<0.001) and was associated with reporting recommendations in line with published guidelines. Over 50% of providers, and 80% or more of residents, requested educational information on genetics topics.

CONCLUSION: There is increasing training in genetics,
and the majority of providers are able to counsel patients in line with organizational recommendations. However, the low reported number of CME courses and provider request for more educational information reflect a need for knowledge on genetic testing and screening. Future implementation of an educational intervention and assessing its impact on provider knowledge and comfort should be assessed.
Keywords:  educational tools, genetic carrier screening, genetic counseling, genetic screening, genetic testing, medical education, practice guidelines, predictive genetic testing, pregnancy, prenatal diagnosis, prenatal genetic counseling, pro- viders
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