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The impact of genetic counseling on patient engagement

Zakas, Anna (2017) The impact of genetic counseling on patient engagement. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Recent healthcare efforts have targeted patient engagement as a means to improve medical outcomes and reduce the healthcare costs of chronic conditions. This pilot study analyzed engagement levels among patients who underwent genetic counseling for Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer risk assessment, and examined the feasibility of implementing engagement measures in an outpatient specialty clinic. We hypothesized that undergoing genetic counseling would empower patients and result in increased engagement scores. Patients seen at the UPMC Hereditary GI Tumor Program were asked to complete a patient engagement measure, the Altarum Consumer Engagement (ACE), prior to undergoing genetic counseling. Post-appointment ACE measures were completed for each participant three months after enrollment via telephone. Paired t-test analysis was conducted to assess changes in the ACE scores before and after genetic counseling. In the sample of 38 participants, the ACE Measure scores were found to increase significantly after having genetic counseling (p = 0.0342). No statistically significant differences were found in ACE scores between participants recently diagnosed with cancer and those with a past personal history or a family history of cancer (p = 0.2042). The implementation of engagement measures in the clinical setting is feasible, and may assess the impact of genetic counseling on healthcare efficacy in patients suspected to have a genetic cancer susceptibility. Identifying novel approaches for patient activation is of public health significance, both in improving patient outcomes and lowering healthcare cost. Future research is ongoing to investigate whether improved patient engagement correlates to lifestyle modifications that reduce cancer risk.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zakas, Annaanz39@pitt.eduanz390000-0002-4566-4842
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBrand,
Committee MemberGrubs,
Committee MemberShaffer,
Committee MemberDudley,
Committee MemberParkinson,
Date: 29 June 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 April 2017
Approval Date: 29 June 2017
Submission Date: 27 April 2017
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 105
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Human Genetics
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Genetic Counseling, Patient Engagement, Altarum
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2017 23:36
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 05:15


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