, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 713-728
Date: 13 Oct 2007

Coming Full Circle: A Reciprocal-Engagement Model of Genetic Counseling Practice

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Abstract

As genetic health care and genetic testing expand from primarily addressing conditions that are exclusively genetic in nature to common diseases with both genetic and environmental components, the scope of genetic counseling has grown. Identification and utilization of a normative model of practice defined by members of the profession is critical as genetic services become more commonplace in medical care. The purpose of this paper is to describe the results of a consensus conference convened to define a model of genetic counseling practice based on the guidance of educators and leaders in the profession. Twenty-three program directors or their representatives from 20 genetic counseling graduate programs in North America listened to presentations and participated in group discussions aimed at determining the elements of a model of practice, including tenets, goals, strategies, and behaviors for addressing patients’ genetic concerns. Their discussion is summarized, training implications and research recommendations are presented, and a model of practice that extends their ideas is proposed.