Online CME Program Integrates Genetics Into Primary Care Practices

Expanding and evaluating the Genetics and Your Practice curriculum

From 2000 through 2004, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation designed, launched and evaluated Genetics & Your Practice Online, an information and continuing education program to help health professionals integrate genetics into their practices.

From the launch date in August 2003 through May 2005, 2,143 individuals registered to use Genetics & Your Practice Online. In 2004, 103 users obtained continuing medical education credit in three topic areas: genetic testing and screening; family health and social history; and referral to genetic services.

Key Evaluation Findings

  • Knowledge about genetics increased among professional users who completed case studies for CME credit. Post-test results showed overall increases in the three content areas of testing and screening, family history and referrals.
  • After completing the case studies, physician users considered it more important to perform an informed consent session with a patient prior to genetic testing or screening.
  • After completing the case studies, physician users considered it more important to perform follow-up educational sessions after patients' genetic tests and referrals.
  • After completing the modules, users' intention to integrate genetics into their practices increased in several areas.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with a grant of $746,363.