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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

Abstract
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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