Genetic Counseling

School of Health and Human Sciences

Hereditary Diabetes Referral and Counseling Practices in a Prenatal Setting
Capstone Project Committee: Michelle Baric, MS, CGC, Rachel Mills, MS, CGC, Randi Stewart, MS, CGC
Monogenic diabetes is often misdiagnosed, with as high as 80% of monogenic diabetes incorrectly diagnosed as type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Monogenic diabetes may be identified in the prenatal setting as expectant women are regularly screened for hyperglycemia, a feature of monogenic diabetes. However, research on the practices of prenatal genetic counselors regarding monogenic diabetes has been limited. A survey of prenatal genetic counselors and obstetrician/gynecologists was conducted to assess clinical awareness of monogenic diabetes and determine associated counseling practices. Survey results indicate that the topics most often discussed in clinic by prenatal genetic counselors regarding diabetes were multifactorial inheritance and pregnancy complications. Over 40% of prenatal genetic counselors were “unsure” on 11 of the 12 knowledge-based questions about monogenic diabetes but did show a high interest (94.4%) in learning more about monogenic diabetes. Ob/gyns discussed pregnancy complications and clinical test results more often with patients and were unsure if a diagnosis of monogenic diabetes would change the woman’s pregnancy management (it usually would). Since genetic counselors and ob/gyns expressed limited knowledge but indicated interest in additional information about monogenic diabetes, an educational intervention may be beneficial.
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