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Effects of Genetic Education on Nurses Competencies in Counseling People With Family History of Cancer and the Establishment of Cancer Risk Clinic in Selected Hospitals in Nigeria

Prisca O Adejumo

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The World Health Organisation, WHO, projects that about 84 million people may die by 2015 if urgent strategies are not implemented to arrest the cancer scourge. Urgent strategies are therefore highly needed to address cancer diseases. Against this background, innovations are needed to address the burden of disease such as training nurses in genetic counseling and cancer risk assessment. Quasi-experimental pre and post test, control group design was employed and study took place in three purposively selected teaching hospitals in southwest Nigeria: LUTH, Lagos State, UCH, Oyo State, and OAU, Osun State, Southwest Nigeria. Preliminary data revealed lack of knowledge of genetic counseling among nurses in selected setting with participants’ acceptance of gross deficiency in genetics nursing knowledge. A huge discrepancy between self reported and observational outcome of genetic counselling skill is being observed and curricular assessment of nursing programmes showed lack of contents on cancer genetics generally and genetic counseling specifically. Cancer genetics/genetic counseling is presently missing in Nursing programmes’ curriculum and comprehensive cancer care in Nigeria. Yet it is a veritable tool that can be employed by nurses to obtain appropriate family history and assess cancer risk. This can bridge the missing gap in comprehensive cancer care without necessarily training a new group of health care workers. There is urgent need to establish cancer risk clinics in University Hospitals in Nigeria as well as oncology Nursing programmes.

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