PST756 Genetics and Hearing Loss for EHDI Professionals: Learning Objectives

Learning objectives are adapted from the National Coalition of Health Professional Education in Genetics ( guidelines for the continuing education in genetics.

Participants in the educational program will develop an understanding of:

  • basic human genetics terminology.
  • patterns of inheritance (both mendelian and nontraditional) and the importance of family history.
  • how identification of genetic variation (forms of hearing loss) facilitates development of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • the clinical and molecular characteristics of the major forms of syndromic and nonsyndromic hearing loss.
  • the potential physical and/or psychosocial benefits, limitations, and risks of genetic information for individuals, family members and communities.
  • the resources available to meet the needs of clients seeking genetic information and services.
  • the components of the genetic counseling process and indications for referral of individuals with hearing loss to genetic specialists, as well as their own professional role in provision, follow-up, and quality of genetic services.

Upon completion of the educational program, participants will be able to:

  • explain basic concepts of probability and the influence of genetic factors in causing hearing loss.
  • gather basic family history information, identify individuals and families that would benefit from genetic services, and prepare clients and families for what to expect from the genetic evaluation and counseling process.
  • educate individuals about the availability of genetic testing for hearing loss and provide basic information about the potential risks, benefits and limitations of genetic testing for hearing loss.
  • safeguard privacy and confidentiality of genetic information of clients and families to the extent possible and respect the choices that clients and families intend to make about genetic testing.
  • identify sources of credible, current information about genetics for self, clients, and colleagues.

Upon completion of the educational program, all participants will:

  • recognize philosophical, cultural and ethical perspectives influencing utilization of genetic information and services, especially those related to the deaf and hearing communities.
  • appreciate the sensitivity of genetic information, and the need for privacy and confidentiality.
  • seek coordination and collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of health professionals.
  • recognize the limitations of their own genetic expertise and seek the help of genetic professionals as needed to educate their own students, peers and clients.
  • support client-beneficial policies, including access, choice to utilize genetic services, genetic privacy and non-discrimination.
  • develop the skills to convey these basic attitudes to their own professional peers.
  • recognize that information about the genetics of deafness is not a static body of knowledge and develop effective personal strategies for keeping up with this rapidly changing field.



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