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

Deliverables

Phase 1 of the GenEd project (objective 1a) has identified that a plethora of professional organisations are responsible for setting and assessing the level of genetic knowledge required by primary care health professionals (as these health professionals were most likely the first health professional to be approached by individuals/families with a genetic concern) in 11 EU countries. A summary of these results are provided in Challen K et al. appendix 2). It is noticeable that there is variation between countries and specialty groups in the amount or visibility of genetic content in medical and nursing education. As most practising medical doctors qualified before the new advances in genetic technology as applied to healthcare it is particularly relevant that continuing professional education resources in genetics were deficient in most countries. Due to the diversity of curriculum and the impact of problem based learning obtaining detailed or accurate records for undergraduate education proved difficult. However the majority of the medical undergraduate curricula studied showed mainly education in scientific/molecular genetic knowledge rather than clinical genetics as applied to health and illness. In some countries the curricula to become a specialist medical doctor contained explicit mention of clinical genetic requirements, whereas in others it was sadly missing altogether. It was apparent in some countries (France, Germany and the UK) that the Clinical Genetics Professional National Societies had published core competencies in genetic knowledge and skills.
The data set contains 4.725 completed questionnaires from France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Currently data analysis is done for publication in medical journals targeting non-genetics health professionals and geneticists. In addition, the partners have been asked by the European Network of Excellence "EuroGenTest" to collaborate and make the data available for the Network.