Educational outcomes of a workplace screening program for genetic susceptibility to hemochromatosis

Genetics Education and Health Research, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville, Australia.
Clinical Genetics (Impact Factor: 3.93). 02/2006; 69(2):163-70. DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2005.00566.x
Source: PubMed


Education is an essential component of a genetic screening program. Knowledge outcomes were measured after large-scale workplace education and screening for genetic susceptibility to hereditary hemochromatosis. The aim was to assess knowledge of concepts presented, impact of mode of delivery, and knowledge retention. Education in a group setting was delivered via oral or video presentation and knowledge assessed using self-administered questionnaires at baseline, 1 month, and 12 months. Over 60% of 11 679 participants correctly answered all questions at baseline, scoring higher with clinical concepts (disease etiology and treatment) than genetic concepts (penetrance and genetic heterogeneity). Revising the education program significantly increased correct responses for etiology (p < 0.002), whilst modifying the knowledge assessment tool significantly increased correct responses for etiology (p < 0.001) and gene penetrance (p < 0.001). For three of the four concepts assessed, use of video was as effective as oral presentation for knowledge outcomes. A significantly higher proportion of those at increased risk of disease (n = 44) responded correctly at 12 months than did controls (n = 82; p = 0.011 for etiology, p = 0.002 for treatment and p = 0.003 for penetrance). Hence, genetic screening can be successfully offered in a group workplace setting, with participants remembering clinical concepts better than genetic concepts up to 1 year later.

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