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Developing an intervention to facilitate family communication about inherited genetic conditions, and training genetic counsellors in its delivery

Eisler, I., Ellison, M., Flinter, F., Grey, J., Hutchison, S., Jackson, C., Longworth, L., MacLeod, R., McAllister, Marion, Metcalfe, A., Murrells, T., Patch, C., Pritchard, S., Robert, G., Rowland, E. and Ulph, F. 2016. Developing an intervention to facilitate family communication about inherited genetic conditions, and training genetic counsellors in its delivery. European Journal of Human Genetics 24 (6) , pp. 794-802. 10.1038/ejhg.2015.215

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Many families experience difficulty in talking about an inherited genetic condition that affects one or more of them. There have now been a number of studies identifying the issues in detail, however few have developed interventions to assist families. The SPRinG collaborative have used the UK Medical Research Council’s guidance on Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions, to work with families and genetic counsellors (GCs) to co-design a psycho-educational intervention to facilitate family communication and promote better coping and adaptation to living with an inherited genetic condition for parents and their children (<18 years). The intervention is modelled on multi-family discussion groups (MFDGs) used in psychiatric settings. The MFDG was developed and tested over three phases. First focus groups with parents, young people, children and health professionals discussed whether MFDG was acceptable and proposed a suitable design. Using evidence and focus group data, the intervention and a training manual were developed and three GCs were trained in its delivery. Finally, a prototype MFDG was led by a family therapist and co-facilitated by the three GCs. Data analysis showed that families attending the focus groups and intervention thought MFDG highly beneficial, and the pilot sessions had a significant impact on their family’ functioning. We also demonstrated that it is possible to train GCs to deliver the MFDG intervention. Further studies are now required to test the feasibility of undertaking a definitive randomised controlled trial to evaluate its effectiveness in improving family outcomes before implementing into genetic counselling practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 1018-4813
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 5 July 2015
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 09:37

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