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Genetics education: improving non-genetic health professionals' understanding of genetic testing (GENED)

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Educating healthcare professionals

"Translating" emerging knowledge in day-to-day healthcare practice is not a simple task. The rate with which new genetics information and technologies are expanding is faster than ever and practitioners are challenged to keep up with the changes.

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The EC-funded GENED project aimed to launch a pan-European education initiative combining geneticists, patient groups and healthcare professionals. Part of the objective was to clearly define the educational priorities for these groups, at a time when genetic testing is fast becoming part of the mainstream healthcare. There is a clear need for practitioners to comply with a number of ethical and clinical guidelines, in regards to the administration of genetic tests. These guidelines can only form part of specific training and education programmes. GENED sought to derive empirical results through a survey-based approach in order to form an appropriate educational model at a later date. The completed data-set is made up of over 4500 questionnaires from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. The findings were set for analysis and would be published in a number of journals targeting non-genetics health professionals. These data are likely to form the backbone of a series of educational resources for the medical world.

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