Prioritization of future genetics education for general practitioners: a Delphi study

Elisa J. F. Houwink*, Lidewij Henneman, Myrte Westerneng, Scheltus J. van Luijk, Martina C. Cornel, Jan Geert Dinant, Cees van der Vleuten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: General practitioners (GPs) are increasingly expected to deliver genetics services in daily patient care. Education in primary care genetics is considered suboptimal and in urgent need of revision and innovation. The aim of this study was to prioritize topics for genetics education for general practice. Methods: A Delphi consensus procedure consisting of three rounds was conducted. A purposively selected heterogeneous panel (n = 18) of experts, comprising six practicing GPs who were also engaged in research, five GP trainers, four clinical genetics professionals, and three representatives of patient organizations, participated. Educational needs regarding genetics in general practice in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes were rated and ranked in a top-10 list. Results: The entire panel completed all three rounds. Kendall's coefficient of concordance indicated significant agreement regarding the top 10 genetic education needs (P <0.001). "Recognizing signals that are potentially indicative of a hereditary component of a disease" was rated highest, followed by "Evaluating indications for referral to a clinical genetics centre" and "Knowledge of the possibilities and limitations of genetic tests:" Conclusion: The priorities resulting from this study can inform the development of educational modules, including input for case-based education, to improve GP performance in genetic patient care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-329
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Delphi technique
  • general practice
  • genetics
  • health education
  • primary health care

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