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Abstract: PO1062

Level of Confidence, Knowledge, and Literacy in Genetics Among US Nephrologists

Session Information

  • Educational Research
    November 04, 2021 | Location: On-Demand, Virtual Only
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Category: Educational Research

  • 800 Educational Research

Authors

  • Milo Rasouly, Hila, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, United States
  • Balderes, Olivia, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, United States
  • Marasa, Maddalena, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, United States
  • Fernandez, Hilda E., Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, United States
  • Lipton, Marissa, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, United States
  • Lin, Fangming, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, United States
  • Gharavi, Ali G., Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, United States
  • Sabatello, Maya, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York, United States
Background

Increased availability of genetic tests in nephrology and at reduced costs are promising for improved patient diagnostic and clinical care. Nephrologists’ confidence, knowledge and genetic literacy are likely to impact the utilization of genetic testing (GT). Identifying gaps in nephrologists’ knowledge and confidence and preferred methods of learning are needed to develop tailored approaches to improving it.

Methods

An online survey assessing genetic confidence, knowledge, and genetic literacy measured using GeneLiFT, a rapid word recognition screening test, was administered between January-May 2021 to nephrologists working in the US (self-identification).

Results

201 nephrologists completed the survey, 67% working in an academic setting. All clinicians reported treating patients with genetic forms of kidney disease, but only 32% have to date referred >20 patients to GT. We observed limited genetic knowledge in 32% of respondents (Table), and 68% did not recognize the word “actionability” as real. Only 20% reported high confidence in all aspects of GT (ordering, discussing risks and benefits, results’ interpretation, and using results to guide clinical care), and high level of confidence was significantly associated with working in an academic setting (p= 2.6x10-5). Preferred methods for continued genetic education were “conferences” (70%), “self-directed methods” (45%) and “workshops” (40%). Methods used were mostly “reading specialty texts” (65%) and “internal specialty seminars and conferences” (55%).

Conclusion

There is a need to improve nephrologists’ genetic literacy, knowledge, and confidence in genetics to ensure to ensure broad adoption of genetic testing in nephrology. Employing diverse educational methods will prevent widening the gap between the adoption of genetic testing in different clinical settings.

Table 1: Genetic knowledge amongst surveyed nephrologists (n=201)
Do you think the following statements are correct or incorrect? (5-point Likert scale from ‘Definitely incorrect’ to ‘Definitely correct’)
ConceptSentenceIncorrect answer
Genetic riskGenetic testing may find genetic mutations that increase a person42 (21%)
Panels/ exomeGenetic testing may give a person information about their chance of developing several different genetic conditions.31 (16%)
Pharmaco-genomicsGenetic testing may find genetic variants that determine how a person responds to certain medicines.21 (11%)
HeritabilityGenetic testing may find genetic variants that a person can pass on to his/her children.9 (5%)
InheritanceHealthy parents can have a child with a genetic condition.9 (5%)
PenetranceSome people with a genetic mutation may not develop the genetic condition.9 (5%)

Funding

  • NIDDK Support