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Sickle Cell Trait Counseling for Student Athletes

Costanzo, Victoria Lynn (2011) Sickle Cell Trait Counseling for Student Athletes. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Objections: In April 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) approved mandatory testing for sickle cell trait status for all student athletes participating in Division I sports. Children's Sickle Cell Program at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh offered genetic testing and counseling to all student athletes participating in Division I athletes at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University. Methods: In addition, to assess the knowledge of sickle cell trait among the student athletes, along with the effect of genetic counseling, student athletes were asked to participate in a survey. A short survey was provided to the student athletes prior to their genetic counseling, with a short survey provided following the genetic testing (See Appendix A for IRB consent form and Appendix B for questionnaires). Results: Between the two Division I programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, 122 student athletes were tested of which, one athlete was diagnosed with sickle cell trait. Among the 122 student athletes tested, 80 participated in the surveys. Among those who participated, 57 (71%) were Caucasian, 16 (20%) were African American, and the remaining athletes were of mixed or other ethnic backgrounds. Prior to the genetic counseling session, 11% of the student athletes answered that they had never heard of sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait. Following the genetic counseling session, 89% of the student athletes had a good understanding of sickle cell trait, with 15% showing that they learned something from the genetic counseling session.Conclusions: Based on the data obtained from this study, student athletes may not have a good understanding of the testing that is mandated by the NCAA. Therefore, genetic counseling is strongly recommended to all student athletes prior to the carrier status testing. Implications for Public Health: Many issues surround the NCAA ruling mandating sickle cell trait testing. However, many are not focusing on the importance of the impact genetic testing has on an individual, particularly this age range involved. Genetic counseling needs to be considered when requiring these student athletes to undergo genetic testing for sickle cell trait.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Costanzo, Victoria
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKrishnamurit,
Committee MemberKladny,
Committee MemberGettig, Elizabethbgettig@pitt.eduBGETTIG
Committee MemberBarmada, M Michaelbarmada@pitt.eduBARMADA
Date: 29 June 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 4 April 2011
Approval Date: 29 June 2011
Submission Date: 5 April 2011
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
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: NCAA ruling on sickle cell trait; sickle cell trait; student athletes
Other ID:, etd-04052011-152207
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:34
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


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