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Genetic Counseling for Trans* Populations: Development of Educational Material for Genetic Counseling Programs

Williams, Kaylee (2021) Genetic Counseling for Trans* Populations: Development of Educational Material for Genetic Counseling Programs. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Transgender, or trans* is an umbrella term that refers to people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. As gender minorities, the trans* community experiences disproportionate health disparities and discrimination in the healthcare setting. Genetic counselors may become part of a trans* individuals’ medical care team when indicated by a risk for genetic conditions. The role of a genetic counselor is to provide genetic information and culturally competent psychosocial support. A recent survey of genetic counselors found that less than half felt confident in their ability to counsel a trans* client, and multiple studies have established genetic counselors’ desire for more education on counseling trans* individuals. This study aims to increase genetic counselors’ knowledge about counseling trans* clients through the creation of educational resource materials for genetic counseling training programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). A Qualtrics survey was distributed to ACGC accredited program leadership to assess their current approach to trans* health education within their curricula and their receptiveness to additional resources to increase students’ exposure and comfort level counseling trans* patients in the future. Survey data revealed that 90% of responding programs provide education on genetic counseling for trans* individuals, and 85% felt that access to educational resource materials would be helpful. The results of the survey were used to direct what kind of educational content was created as part of this project. Based on survey results, four resources were created: 1) A series of case examples with roleplay opportunities, 2) An annotated list of resources for trans* patients including allied healthcare providers and legal resources, 3) An annotated list of resources for providers working with trans* clients, 4) An annotated list of peer-reviewed articles on genetic counseling for trans* populations. An educational resource guide was made to guide users of these materials as well. This study is relevant to public health by increasing educational materials available to genetic counseling programs and their students, with the intention of enhancing genetic counselors’ competency in working with trans* clients.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Williams, Kayleeknw30@pitt.eduknw30
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGrubs, Robin E.rgrubs@pitt.edurgrubs
Committee MemberBohnert, Kelseykelsey.bohnert@pitt.edukelsey.bohnert
Committee MemberMarkovic, Ninaninam@pitt.eduninam
Committee MemberKrier, Sarahsek29@pitt.edusek29
Date: 12 May 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 12 April 2021
Approval Date: 12 May 2021
Submission Date: 25 April 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 109
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Genetic Counseling
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: transgender, trans, genetic counseling, genetics, education
Date Deposited: 13 May 2021 02:53
Last Modified: 13 May 2021 02:53

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  • Genetic Counseling for Trans* Populations: Development of Educational Material for Genetic Counseling Programs. (deposited 13 May 2021 02:53) [Currently Displayed]


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