Genetics in clinical practice: general practitioners' educational priorities in European countries

Julian-Reynier, Claire, Nippert, Irma, Calefato, Jean-Marc, Harris, Hilary, Kristoffersson, Ulf, Schmidtke, Joerg, Ten Kate, Leo, Anionwu, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Caroline et al (2008) Genetics in clinical practice: general practitioners' educational priorities in European countries. Genetics in Medicine, 10 (2). pp. 107-113. ISSN 1098-3600

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PURPOSE: To assess how general practitioners (GPs) from European countries prioritized their genetic educational needs according to their geographic, sociodemographic, and educational characteristics. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey, random and total samples of GPs in five European countries (France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and United Kingdom), mailed questionnaires; Outcome: Genetic Educational Priority Scale (30 items; six subscores). RESULTS: A total 1168 GPs answered. Priorities differed (P < 0.001) but were consistently ranked across the countries. Previous education had a marginal effect on priorities. Women gave higher priorities than men to Genetics of Common Disorders (adjusted odds ratio [ORadj], 2.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6-3.8), Psychosocial and Counseling Issues (ORadj, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.5), and Ethical, Legal, and Public Health Issues (ORadj, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8), but lower than men to Techniques and Innovation in Genetics (ORadj, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.5-0.9). Older physicians gave higher priorities to Basic Genetics and Congenital Malformations (ORadj, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-1.9), and to Techniques and Innovation in Genetics (ORadj: 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.7), compared with their younger colleagues. CONCLUSIONS: Expressed genetic educational needs vary according to the countries and sociodemographics. In accordance, training could be more focused on genetics of common disorders and on how to approach genetic risk in clinical practice rather than on ethics, new technologies, or basic concepts.

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