Cancer genetics education in a low- to middle-income country: Evaluation of an interactive workshop for clinicians in Kenya

Jessica A. Hill, Su Yeon Lee, Lucy Njambi, Timothy W. Corson, Helen Dimaras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical genetic testing is becoming an integral part of medical care for inherited disorders. While genetic testing and counseling are readily available in high-income countries, in low- and middle-income countries like Kenya genetic testing is limited and genetic counseling is virtually non-existent. Genetic testing is likely to become widespread in Kenya within the next decade, yet there has not been a concomitant increase in genetic counseling resources. To address this gap, we designed an interactive workshop for clinicians in Kenya focused on the genetics of the childhood eye cancer retinoblastoma. The objectives were to increase retinoblastoma genetics knowledge, build genetic counseling skills and increase confidence in those skills. Methods: The workshop was conducted at the 2013 Kenyan National Retinoblastoma Strategy meeting. It included a retinoblastoma genetics presentation, small group discussion of case studies and genetic counseling role-play. Knowledge was assessed by standardized test, and genetic counseling skills and confidence by questionnaire. Results: Knowledge increased significantly post-workshop, driven by increased knowledge of retinoblastoma causative genetics. One-year post-workshop, participant knowledge had returned to baseline, indicating that knowledge retention requires more frequent reinforcement. Participants reported feeling more confident discussing genetics with patients, and had integrated more genetic counseling into patient interactions. Conclusion: A comprehensive retinoblastoma genetics workshop can increase the knowledge and skills necessary for effective retinoblastoma genetic counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0129852
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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