Publications by authors named "Bonnie J Baty"

11 Publications

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Genetic counselors with advanced skills: I. Refining a model of advanced training.

J Genet Couns 2020 10 31;29(5):759-770. Epub 2019 Dec 31.

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA.

Advanced training for master's trained genetic counselors has been a topic for many years. In 2016, Baty et al. published a model of advanced training for genetic counselors that interconnects three grids: skills, paths, and positions. The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess how well this model of advanced training reflected the experiences of genetic counselors with advanced genetic counseling skills. Using purposive sampling and deductive content analysis, results of 17 interviews demonstrated that the 3-grid model of advanced genetic counseling skills, paths to attaining these skills, and positions which utilize advanced skills, described elements important for the interviewees' career development. Results suggested refinements to the model in terms of content and organization and also suggested that advanced training be conceptualized as an important element of a career lattice that includes both vertical and horizontal movement. This refined model of genetic counselor advanced training can foster profession-wide career development by stimulating new career paths and career development research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1203DOI Listing
October 2020

Genetic counselors with advanced skills: II. A new career trajectory framework.

J Genet Couns 2020 10 25;29(5):771-785. Epub 2019 Dec 25.

Social and Behavioral Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Career development frameworks help professionals better understand career decision-making, but the genetic counseling field lacks a comprehensive framework to describe career development. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore commonalities across participants' career trajectories and identify factors which influence decision-making throughout genetic counseling careers. Using purposive sampling, 17 genetic counselors with advanced skills were interviewed about their career trajectories, factors which influenced career decisions, and the process and outcomes of those decisions. Content analysis was both inductive and deductive, employing triangulation techniques to enhance analytic rigor. Results highlighted common experiences and critical processes of interviewees' career trajectories and contributed to the development of the Genetic Counselor Career Trajectory Framework (GCCTF), which depicts an iterative process of considering change in one's career. Each iteration is prompted by predisposing influences (past experiences, personal attributes, and contextual factors), characterized by self-assessment and flexible planning, and completed when a decision about making a change is reached. Multiple iterations collectively create evolution of a career trajectory. The GCCTF adds to existing theories of career development by emphasizing dynamic processes of considering change and applies established concepts to a specialized healthcare profession. Individual genetic counselors can utilize the GCCTF to expand awareness of factors influencing a specific career decision and gain insight into experiences of change across their careers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1204DOI Listing
October 2020

Genetic counseling: Growth of the profession and the professional.

Authors:
Bonnie J Baty

Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet 2018 03 7;178(1):54-62. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Department of Pediatrics, SOM 2C454, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Growth of the profession of genetic counseling has gone hand-in-hand with professional development of individual genetic counselors. Genetic counseling has achieved most of the typical early milestones in the development of a profession. The profession is maturing at a time when the number of practitioners is predicted to vastly expand. The last two decades have seen a proliferation of genetic counselor roles and practice areas, and a distinct professional identity. It is likely that the next two decades will see an increase in educational paths, practice areas, and possibilities for professional advancement. How this maturation proceeds will be impacted by overall trends in healthcare, decisions made by international genetic counseling organizations, and thousands of individual decisions about career trajectories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.c.31601DOI Listing
March 2018

2013 Review and Update of the Genetic Counseling Practice Based Competencies by a Task Force of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling.

J Genet Couns 2016 10 23;25(5):868-79. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

The first practice based competencies (PBCs) for the field of genetic counseling were adopted by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), 1996. Since that time, there has been significant growth in established and new work settings (clinical and non-clinical) and changes in service delivery models and the roles of genetic counselors. These changes prompted the ABGC to appoint a PBC Task Force in 2011 to review the PBCs with respect to their current relevance and to revise and update them as necessary. There are four domains in the revised PBCs: (I) Genetics Expertise and Analysis (II) Interpersonal, Psychosocial and Counseling Skills (III) Education and (IV) Professional Development and Practice. There are 22 competencies, each clarified with learning objectives or samples of activities and skills; a glossary is included. New competencies were added that address genomics, genetic testing and genetic counselors' roles in risk assessment, education, supervision, conducting research and presenting research options to patients. With PBCs serving as the pre-defined abilities or outcomes of training, graduating genetic counselors will be well prepared to enter the field with a minimum level of skills and abilities. A description of the Task Force's work, key changes and the 2013 PBCs are presented herein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-016-9984-3DOI Listing
October 2016

Developing a Model of Advanced Training to Promote Career Advancement for Certified Genetic Counselors: An Investigation of Expanded Skills, Advanced Training Paths, and Professional Opportunities.

J Genet Couns 2016 08 7;25(4):625-34. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

Departments of Pediatrics and of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Texas Health, Houston, TX, USA.

There are currently multiple paths through which genetic counselors can acquire advanced knowledge and skills. However, outside of continuing education opportunities, there are few formal training programs designed specifically for the advanced training of genetic counselors. In the genetic counseling profession, there is currently considerable debate about the paths that should be available to attain advanced skills, as well as the skills that might be needed for practice in the future. The Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD) convened a national committee, the Committee on Advanced Training for Certified Genetic Counselors (CATCGC), to investigate varied paths to post-master's training and career development. The committee began its work by developing three related grids that view career advancement from the viewpoints of the skills needed to advance (skills), ways to obtain these skills (paths), and existing genetic counselor positions that offer career change or advancement (positions). Here we describe previous work related to genetic counselor career advancement, the charge of the CATCGC, our preliminary work in developing a model through which to view genetic counselor advanced training and career advancement opportunities, and our next steps in further developing and disseminating the model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-015-9916-7DOI Listing
August 2016

Breaking difficult news in a cross-cultural setting: a qualitative study about Latina mothers of children with down syndrome.

J Genet Couns 2012 Aug 7;21(4):582-90. Epub 2011 Dec 7.

South Florida Perinatal Medicine, Miami, FL 33175, USA.

Giving difficult news to patients represents a common dilemma for health care professionals. Based on three decades of research, various authors have proposed guidelines outlining the ideal setting, delivery, and timing. Existing publications focus on patients of European descent and may not be applicable in cross-cultural settings. We explored perceptions of Spanish-speaking mothers who have a child with Down syndrome and how they preferred to receive the news of their child's diagnosis. We conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews (n = 14), which were coded and analyzed by thematic networks to identify common themes. Six significant themes emerged: Cultural Belief System, Communication, Support/Lack of Support, Feelings Engendered, Medical Issues, and Medical System. One overarching theme of mother-child bonding encompassed all sub-themes. The mothers desired the news in a more positive, balanced light and with more complete explanations about the condition. Mothers felt excluded from the diagnostic process and wanted to be better informed about the need for diagnostic studies. Participants used religious beliefs to explain the reason for their child's condition. Many factors influenced Latina mothers' ability to bond initially with their children with Down syndrome. Ideally, these factors should be acknowledged during informing interviews to assist Latino families in adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-011-9425-2DOI Listing
August 2012

Genetic counseling communication with an African American BRCA1 kindred.

Soc Sci Med 2007 Feb 1;64(3):724-34. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

Psychology Department, University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

We studied communication in genetic counseling sessions conducted with an African American, Breast Cancer 1, Early Onset (BRCA1) kindred in the USA. The Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) was used to code and compare two sessions of 46 participants (26 females and 20 males) before and after they underwent genetic testing. Three certified genetic counselors and one medical geneticist conducted the sessions. When compared to pre-test communication, most of the providers' post-test communication was devoted to the provision of biomedical information (including screening recommendations) with fewer questions and psychosocial statements. Clients contributed a similar proportion to the total session dialogue in pre- and post-test sessions (40%). A larger proportion of their post-test session was devoted to indicating receptiveness to provider information than in the pre-test session. We found when providers were informing clients that they were BRCA1 mutation carriers, they provided more biomedical and psychosocial information and asked more psychosocial questions than when talking with non-carriers. This study provides the first description of genetic counseling communication for pre- and post-test BRCA1 sessions with African American individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.09.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2043481PMC
February 2007

Uncertainty in BRCA1 cancer susceptibility testing.

Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet 2006 Nov;142C(4):241-50

Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling, Division of Medical Genetics, University of Utah Health Science Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.

This study investigated uncertainty in individuals undergoing genetic counseling/testing for breast/ovarian cancer susceptibility. Sixty-three individuals from a single kindred with a known BRCA1 mutation rated uncertainty about 12 items on a five-point Likert scale before and 1 month after genetic counseling/testing. Factor analysis identified a five-item total uncertainty scale that was sensitive to changes before and after testing. The items in the scale were related to uncertainty about obtaining health care, positive changes after testing, and coping well with results. The majority of participants (76%) rated reducing uncertainty as an important reason for genetic testing. The importance of reducing uncertainty was stable across time and unrelated to anxiety or demographics. Yet, at baseline, total uncertainty was low and decreased after genetic counseling/testing (P = 0.004). Analysis of individual items showed that after genetic counseling/testing, there was less uncertainty about the participant detecting cancer early (P = 0.005) and coping well with their result (P < 0.001). Our findings support the importance to clients of genetic counseling/testing as a means of reducing uncertainty. Testing may help clients to reduce the uncertainty about items they can control, and it may be important to differentiate the sources of uncertainty that are more or less controllable. Genetic counselors can help clients by providing anticipatory guidance about the role of uncertainty in genetic testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.c.30112DOI Listing
November 2006

Exploring genetic counseling communication patterns: the role of teaching and counseling approaches.

J Genet Couns 2006 Jun;15(3):179-89

University of Utah College of Nursing, 10 South 2000 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.

The educational and counseling models are often touted as the two primary professional approaches to genetic counseling practice. Yet, research has not been conducted to examine how these approaches are used in practice. In the present study, we conducted quantitative communication analyses of BRCA1 genetic counseling sessions. We measured communication variables that represent content (e.g., a biomedical focus) and process (e.g., passive listening) to explore whether genetic counselor approaches are consistent with prevailing professional models. The Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS) was used to code 167 pre-test genetic counseling sessions of members of a large kindred with an identified BRCA1 mutation. Three experienced genetic counselors conducted the sessions. Creating composite categories from the RIAS codes, we found the sessions to be largely educational in nature with the counselors and clients devoting the majority of their dialogue to providing biomedical information (62 and 40%, respectively). We used cluster analytic techniques, entering the composite communication variables and identified four patterns of session communication: Client-focused psychosocial, biomedical question and answer, counselor-driven psychosocial, and client-focused biomedical. Moreover, we found that the counselors had unique styles in which they combined the use of education and counseling approaches. We discuss the importance of understanding the variation in counselor communication to advance the field and expand prevailing assumptions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-005-9011-6DOI Listing
June 2006

Communication analysis of BRCA1 genetic counseling.

J Genet Couns 2005 Oct;14(5):377-86

University of Utah College of Nursing, 10 S 2000 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5880, USA.

In this study, we apply an existing medical communication coding system to BRCA1 genetic counseling sessions, describe the session dynamics, and explore variation in session communication. The sample was comprised of 167 members of an identified BRCA1 kindred whose pretest counseling session was audiotaped and coded using Roter's Interaction Analysis System (RIAS). Three certified genetic counselors followed a research protocol that dictated areas to be covered in the counseling session. We found that it was feasible to code long, protocol driven BRCA1 sessions in a quantitative manner without the use of transcripts and capture the dialogue of all session participants. These findings support the use of RIAS in genetic counseling research. Our results indicate that these BRCA1 sessions were predominantly educational in nature with minimal dialogue devoted to psychosocial issues. We found that participant gender, presence of a client companion, and counselor identity influence session communication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10897-005-3660-3DOI Listing
October 2005

Genetic testing for a BRCA1 mutation: prophylactic surgery and screening behavior in women 2 years post testing.

Am J Med Genet A 2003 Apr;118A(3):201-9

Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84113, USA.

Mutations in the BRCA1 gene are associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer in carrier women. An understanding of behavioral responses to BRCA1 mutation testing by mutation carriers and non-carriers is important to guide the clinical application of this new technology. This study examined the utilization of genetic testing for a BRCA1 mutation in high-risk individuals and the response of tested women with respect to interventions for early cancer detection and prevention. This study assessed the utilization of genetic testing for both men and women in a large kindred and the behavioral responses by women with respect to use of health care interventions during the 2 years following testing. Participants were offered BRCA1 mutation testing. Surveillance behaviors related to breast and ovarian cancer were assessed by computer-assisted telephone interviews at baseline (prior to genetic counseling and testing), 1-2 weeks, 4-6 months, 1 and 2 years after the provision of test results. Mutation carriers, non-carriers, and individuals of unknown mutation status were compared to determine the impact of test results. Utilization of genetic testing for both men and women are reported and, for women, mammography, breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, mastectomy, oophorectomy, transvaginal ultrasound, and CA125 screening were assessed. Of those fully informed of the opportunity for testing, 55% of the women and 52% of the men pursued genetic testing. With respect to mammography for women 40 years and older, 82% of mutation carriers obtained a mammogram in each year following testing compared to 72% of non-carrier women the first year and 67% the second year. This mammography utilization represents a significant increase over baseline for both mutation carriers and non-carriers. Younger carrier women also significantly increased their mammography utilization from baseline. Overall, 29% of the carrier women did not obtain a single mammogram by 2 years post-testing. At 2 years, 83% of the carrier women and 74% of the non-carriers reported adherence to recommendations for breast self-exam and over 80% of carrier women had obtained a clinical breast examination each year following testing. None of the carrier women had obtained a prophylactic mastectomy by 2 years after testing, although 11% were considering this procedure. Of carrier women 25 years of age and older who had at least one intact ovary at the time of testing, 46% of carriers had obtained an oophorectomy 2 years after testing, including 78% of women 40 years of age and older. The majority of carrier women (73%) had discussed their genetic test results with a medical doctor or health care provider. Our results indicate utilization of genetic testing by a majority of high-risk individuals who received information about testing. Both carriers and non-carriers increased their utilization of mammography and breast self-exam following testing. Oophorectomy was obtained by a large proportion of carrier women in contrast to mastectomy which was not utilized within the first 2 years following testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.10102DOI Listing
April 2003