Navigating genomic testing: Evaluation of an e-learning module with general practitioners




genetics education, genomics education, general practice, genomic testing, medical education, continuing professional education


Background: Primary care, or general, practitioners (GPs) are increasingly expected to communicate with and support their patients through genetic or genomic testing. However, GPs worldwide report a lack of knowledge about genetics and what constitutes a genetic or genomic test. Few Australian educational resources for medical practitioners address core capabilities in genetics or genomics.

Methods: We developed and evaluated a 90-minute online education module, Navigating Genomic Testing in General Practice, hosted online for 12 months. The module aimed to increase GPs’ awareness and knowledge of genomics, increase confidence in their capability to support genomic testing and foster intention to utilise that knowledge. GPs residing and practising in Australia who completed the module also completed a mandatory post-module survey. They were then invited to complete a behavioural intention survey and participate in an interview.

Results: Between December 2018 and 2019, 216 Australian GPs completed the module and mandatory survey. Fourteen GPs went on to complete the optional survey. Most Australian GPs who completed the module reported gaining knowledge that was relevant to their practice (n = 215, 99.5%) and entirely met their learning needs (n = 168, 77.8%). Respondents of the optional survey (n = 14) indicated that confidence in their capability significantly increased post module, together with intention to support patients undergoing genomic testing.

Conclusion: GPs in this study reported increased confidence, ability and intent, which are factors that can lead to changes in behaviour. Our findings support use of this type of online course as an educational tool to help GPs navigate genomics as it increasingly impacts their practice.


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How to Cite

Terrill, B. N., Pearce, A., Chau, A., & Young, M.-A. (2024). Navigating genomic testing: Evaluation of an e-learning module with general practitioners. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 25(1), 37–50.