Understanding genetics in nursing care - a qualitative interview study

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Abstract

Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the use of genetics/genomics (G/G) knowledge and competencies in a
Danish nursing context.
Methods: Using a qualitative approach, thirteen Danish nurses representing different parts of the Danish health care system were
interviewed about their experiences with G/G in daily practice. One focus group interview was conducted face to face, and nine
individual semi-structured interviews were conducted partly face to face, partly online due to Covid-19 restrictions. Data were
analyzed through systematic text condensation using the NVIVO13 tool (QSR International).
Results: We identified five themes: 1) The nature of genetics; 2) Knowledge about genetics; 3) The roles of the nurse; 4) Nurses’
engagement with patients and relatives; 5) Patient pathways. Ethics was a recurrent theme in all five themes.
Conclusions: The Danish nurses interviewed generally hold a narrow understanding of genetics i.e. defining it as heredity. They
are involved in G/G aspects of care, although the extent and nature of this involvement varies considerably between different
care settings. Hence, it seems unlikely that all nurses will require the same G/G knowledge and competencies. Nevertheless, the
nurses share the belief that they should possess some basic knowledge about G/G to perform adequate nursing care. Their current
knowledge about G/G is typically informed by practice and to a very small degree by their formal education. They agree that G/G
literacy will be a general requirement in future nursing. Some of the nurses consider personalized medicine to be the golden
road to better patient treatment and care. Some request more knowledge about G/G topics and a vocabulary to communicate
adequately with doctors, patients and relatives on these issues. The importance of ethics is emphasized throughout the interviews.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Nursing Education and Practice
Vol/bind12
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)9-17
Antal sider9
ISSN1925-4040
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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