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Evaluating Web-based Educational Modules on Genetic Testing for Autism among Parents of Children with Autism.

Am J Health Behav. 2018 Jan 07;42(4):3-12

Authors: Xu L, Richman AR, Mitchell LC, Luo H, Jiang YH, Roy S, Floyd AE

Objectives New genomic tests for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are being offered to children and families with ASD; however, these tests are underutilized by parents of children affected with ASD. Methods We designed, implemented and pilot-tested an educational intervention to enhance parental genetic knowledge and assist them to make informed decisions about genomic testing. We utilized a pre-/post-test design to evaluate genetic knowledge and test perceptions in a sample of parents of children with ASD. Results Fifty-three parents participated in our online training (5 modules) and completed pre- and post-assessments. Our surveys queried knowledge, attitudes, and intention to test. The knowledge section contained questions regarding autism, genes, and genetic testing for autism. The other 2 sections included attitudinal questions about testing as well as parents’ behavioral intention to seek genetic testing for autism. Conclusions Our results indicate that knowledge significantly improved following the intervention (p < .001). Although attitude and intention scores changed from pre-to post-assessment, these changes were not statistically significant. Our results demonstrate that this first-of-its-kind educational program designed for parents of children with ASD was effective at increasing parents' knowledge related to genomic testing for autism.

PMID: 29973306 [PubMed – in process]

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