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As genomic advances have turned the promise of personalized prevention and health promotion into a concrete possibility in the near future, scholars and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have begun to call for U.S. health educators to develop their genomic competencies. This advocacy, however, begs the question whether health educators feel the need for further genomic training. Using an emergent design, the authors analyze qualitative data obtained from in-depth interviews with 24 health educators in the United States. Data are searched for salient, emergent themes (salience is determined by the frequency of a theme's occurrence across interviews). Findings indicate that although the majority (78.3%) of health educators have received minimal or no genomic education, 81.0% acknowledge the importance of adding some type of training to their future professional development. Participants suggest conference presentations, workshops, and symposia (54.5%) as the most preferable approach for delivering such training. The four most frequently desired training topics include applied genetics/genomics (85.7%), basic genetics/genomics (42.9%), current and future developments in genetics/genomics (28.6%), and genetic testing and screening (19.0%). Findings from this qualitative study can become catalysts for future examinations of this topic and provide the conceptual basis for developing genomics training materials specifically for health educators.


Lei-Shih Chen, Patricia Goodson. Genomics education training needs of U.S. health educators: a (qualitative) pilot study. Health promotion practice. 2013 Jan;14(1):44-52

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PMID: 20223938

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