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Educational strategies on potential prescribers to implement correct use of genomic tests: the Italian experience.

  • Autori: Mazzucco, W; Baroncini, A; Brignoli, O; Calzolari, E; Capoluongo, E; Carrera, P; Dagna Bricarelli, F; Dallapiccola, B; Di Maria, E; Federici, A; Ferrari, M; Sangiorgi, L; Torricelli, F; Ricciardi, W; Boccia, S.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Altro
  • Parole Chiave: Genomic tests; educational strategies; prescribers.
  • OA Link:


Abstract background Marketing pressures, regulatory policies, clinical guidelines, and consumer’s demand all affect health care providers' knowledge and use of health-related genetic tests sold and/or advertised to consumers. A survey on health care providers’ and consumers’ awareness, perceptions, and use of direct-to-consumer personal genomic tests, conducted in USA in 2008, suggested a strong need for education of health practitioners. A similar survey, administered among Italian general practitioners (GPs), has documented that the 85% of interviewers reported the need for specific training on predictive tests’ prescription. Based on these premises, the Italian Health Ministry has introduced in the 2010-2012 National Prevention Plan, an action on genomics and predictive medicine, based on three major mainstays, including the promotion of: a) genomics education (definition of a core curriculum of "basic" skills for trainers, consultants, laboratory professionals, and medical prescribers of genetic tests) for physicians (GPs first), and b) basic genomic health literacy for general population, in order to raise awareness of potential benefits, limits and risks of genomic technologies. Objectives To present an innovative educational and training pilot programme on correct use of genomic tests, dedicated to the potential prescribers, within a project funded by the National Centre for Disease Control with the scientific support of the Italian Network for Public Health Genomics (GENISAP). Results A panel of experts, representative of the six regions enrolled in this project, has defined the contents of a modular course to be administered through a virtual e-learning platform to a population of genomic tests potential prescribers (GPs, public health operators, oncologists, gynaecologists and neurologists), recruited with the support of scientific societies. Course attending will account for continuing medical education credits. Conclusions Implementation of education and training programmes will lead to an appropriate use of genomic knowledge and technologies. The Italian experience might be of interest for other high-income countries, contributing for a shift in culture regarding prescription and appropriate use of predictive genomic tests for complex diseases.