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Study shows benefits of nurse geneticists

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Nurses have a crucial role to play in the delivery of genomic medicine, according to a study.
The report pooled findings of 68 articles assessing progress made in the field.

It warned healthcare professionals are lacking in knowledge about the benefits of genomic medicine.
One of the studies, conducted in the UK, used a randomised controlled trial and a survey to assess the effectiveness of nurse geneticists.

Authors wrote: ‘Both the [trial] and the survey found that patient satisfaction with the service provided by the nurse genetics specialist was high and costs with the new model were less.’

‘Physicians believed that contact with a nurse genetics specialist helped in identifying patients in need of a genetics referral and that nurse genetics specialists provided current genetics information to them.’

However the report added that in health services generally, ‘many gaps in the organization, clinician, and patient needs that must be filled to realize the full benefits of genomics.’

Journal of the American Medical Association (2008) 299:1320-1334
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