Genetic counselors as social and behavioral scientists in the era of precision medicine
Biesecker, B. B. (2018). Genetic counselors as social and behavioral scientists in the era of precision medicine. American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part C-Seminars in Medical Genetics, 178(1), 10-14. DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.c.31609
In the era of precision medicine, translating genomics into clinical care will involve answering key questions in social and behavioral research. The scope of this research addresses assessing how clients perceive and use genomic information, and how effectively genetic counseling is meeting clients' needs. Outcomes are central to enhancing practice effectiveness, improving patient outcomes, and informing cost effective services to address workforce challenges. While genetic counseling is generally thought of as a clinical practice, genetic counselors contribute to research in several ways. Counselors are actively involved in interpretation of sequence data, collaborate in clinical research teams, and serve as lead investigators. This commentary highlights genetic counselors as social and behavioral scientists and reviews evidence generated by genetic counselors, describes advanced training in research, and posits key social and behavioral research questions for genetic counseling in translating genomic science in the era of precision medicine.