Abstracts & Posters

I presented my thesis research at 2 conferences in 2015. If you click on the poster, you can download the JPG.

Please share your comments or questions here, or email me at DenaDNA46@gmail.com

This poster was presented at the American Society of Human Genetics conference in Baltimore, MD.

Measuring Awareness and Identifying Misconceptions About Genetic Counseling Services and Utilizing Television to Educate. D. Goldberg1, M. Bocian1, K. Singh1, K. Osann1, W. W. Grody2, J. Austin3. 1) University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA; 2) University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; 3) University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Understanding awareness and perceptions of genetic counseling (GC) is important in identifying and overcoming potential barriers to GC services. However, there are relatively few empirical data regarding these factors among US-based populations. To address this, we attended various community events for the general public, disability community, and new parents and recruited participants for a survey-based study comprising demographic questions, closed-ended knowledge-based and awareness questions, and open text sections. We applied descriptive statistics to responses about demographics, awareness of GC, purposes of GC, and perceptions of GC practice. In total, 320 individuals participated, including 69 from the general public, 209 from the disability community, and 42 from the new parent community. Slightly more than half of respondents (n =173, 54%) had heard of GC. Risk assessment and counseling were among the most frequently cited activities attributed to genetic counselors; a few felt that GC was related to eugenics. Respondents thought that GC aims to prevent genetic disorders (n=82, 74%), helps people find their ethnic origins and understand their ancestry (n=176, 55%), advises people whether to have children (n=140, 44%), and helps couples have children with desirable characteristics (n=126, 39%). Our data showed the majority of participants preferred to watch a medical thriller involving genetic counseling, followed by documentary series; comedy was rated the lowest. These data revealed gaps in awareness of GC and misperceptions about its purpose and can be useful in devising targeted interventions by developing entertainment-based education to improve public knowledge of genetic health and the roles of GCs.

Measuring Awareness and Identifying Misconceptions About Genetic Counseling Services and Utilizing Television to Educate.

Measuring Awareness and Identifying Misconceptions About Genetic Counseling Services and Utilizing Television to Educate.

These 2 posters were presented at the 2015 National Society of Genetic Counselors Annual Education Conference is Pittsburgh, PA.

Measuring Awareness and Perceptions of Genetic Counseling in three groups: General Population, A Disability Community, and A New Parent Community D. Goldberg1, M. Bocian1, K. Singh1, K. Osann1, W. W. Grody2, J. Austin3. 1) University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA; 2) University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; 3) University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Background: Understanding awareness and perceptions of genetic counseling (GC) among different groups is important in order to identify and overcome potential barriers to GC services. However, there are relatively little empirical data regarding awareness and perceptions of GC among US-based populations.
Methods: To address this gap within the state of California, we attended community events for the general public, disability community, and new parents, and recruited people to participate in a survey-based study comprising demographic questions, closed-ended knowledge-based and awareness questions, and open text sections. We applied descriptive statistics to responses about: demographics, whether the individual had heard of GC, and perceptions of what a genetic counselor does. Open text responses to a question about participants’ first associations with the phrase “genetic counseling” were analyzed for themes. Responses to 18 items about the possible purposes of GC were used to generate a total “knowledge score”.
Results: In total, 320 people participated, including 69 from the general public, 209 from the disability community, and 42 from a new parent community. Slightly more than half of all respondents (n =173, 54%) had heard of GC. Risk assessment and counseling were amongst the most frequently cited activities attributed to genetic counselors, but a small number felt that GC was related to eugenics. Many respondents thought that GC aims to prevent genetic diseases and abnormalities (n=82, 74%), help people find their ethnic origins and understand their ancestry (n=176, 55%), advise people about whether to have children (n=140, 44%), and help couples have children with desirable characteristics (n=126, 39%). The mean knowledge score was 12/18 for all groups combined, and scores were not significantly different between communities or any demographic groups.
Conclusions: These data reveal gaps in awareness of GC and misperceptions about its purpose. These data could be used to develop targeted interventions to improve awareness and dispel misconceptions.

Measuring Awareness and Perceptions of Genetic Counseling in Three Groups: General Population, A Disability Community and a New Parent Community

Measuring Awareness and Perceptions of Genetic Counseling in Three Groups: General Population, A Disability Community and a New Parent Community

The GC on TV: The absence of a genetic counseling professional in popular medical television storylines and what we can do about it. D. Goldberg1, M. Bocian1, K. Singh1, K. Osann1, W. W. Grody2, J. Austin3. 1) University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA; 2) University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; 3) University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Background: Entertainment education is a means of informing the public about a social issue or concern that involves incorporating an educational message into popular entertainment content. TV is one vehicle for entertainment education that has the potential to reach millions of viewers at a time. Studies have shown that TV education entertainment can be used to raise awareness, increase knowledge, create favorable attitudes, and even motivate people to take health related actions. But there are no published data regarding representation of genetic counselors (GCs) in TV shows.
Methods: First, we explored representation of GCs in mainstream TV shows that incorporate clinical genetics scenarios. Second, to establish interest in and preferences regarding a hypothetical genetic counseling themed TV show amongst potential audiences, we surveyed 320 individuals from three different groups: a disability community, a new parent community, and the general public. We asked respondents about how they consume their media, and what type(s) of programming they would prefer for a hypothetical genetic counseling themed TV show. Specifically, participants used a 5 point likert scale to rate their interest in watching (would definitely watch to would definitely not watch) hypothetical genetic counseling TV shows of the following types: talk show, reality, comedy, documentary, or medical drama/thriller.
Results: We reviewed various clips from popular TV shows that incorporate clinical genetics and identified 6 specific instances in which a GC character could have been involved or written into a scene. However, to date, to our knowledge, no GCs have ever been portrayed or written into a TV show. Our survey data showed that the majority of participants in all groups preferred to watch a medical thriller followed by documentary series, and all groups rated the comedy the lowest.
Conclusion: These data could be used to illustrate a niche content need to TV producers, and to inform the development of a show to teach the public about genetic health and the roles of GCs.

The GC on TV: The Absence of a Genetic Counseling Professional in Popular Medical Television Storylines and What We Can Do about It

The GC on TV: The Absence of a Genetic Counseling Professional in Popular Medical Television Storylines and What We Can Do about It

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