Publications by authors named "Lori A H Erby"

9 Publications

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The impact of the number of tests presented and a provider recommendation on decisions about genetic testing for cancer risk.

Patient Educ Couns 2021 Feb 18;104(2):265-275. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Baltimore, USA.

Objective: To determine how the method of presenting testing options and a provider recommendation can influence a decision about genetic testing for inherited cancer predispositions.

Methods: An online hypothetical vignette study was completed by 454 healthy volunteers. Participants were randomized to receive one of two survey versions which differed by genetic testing choice presentation. One group was shown three options simultaneously (no test, 5-gene or 15-gene), and a second group received the 15-gene option after choosing between the no test and 5-gene options. A preference-based provider recommendation was also incorporated. We examined the effect of these interventions on test selection.

Results: Participants in the simultaneous group were more likely to choose a genetic test than those in the sequential group (OR: 2.35, p=0.003). This effect was no longer observed when individuals who had selected no-test in the sequential group were told about the 15-gene test (OR: 1.03 p=0.932). Incorporating a provider recommendation into the hypothetical scenario led to more preference-consistent choices (χ = 8.53, p < 0.0035,).

Conclusions: A larger menu of testing choices led to higher testing uptake. A preference-based clinician recommendation resulted in more preference-consistent choices.

Practice Implications: The structuring of testing options and preference-sensitive recommendations appear to facilitate informed testing decisions.
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February 2021

The Dynamics of a Genetic Counseling Peer Supervision Group.

J Genet Couns 2017 Jun 13;26(3):532-540. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Supervision is a practice that is utilized by a variety of practitioners to hone their counseling skills. Genetic counselors have embraced the supervision process, and some seek out supervision in a group setting with peers. Researchers have described the structure and content of genetic counseling peer supervision groups, and provided evidence for the benefits of seeking peer supervision. This study aimed to describe the interpersonal aspects of one genetic counseling peer supervision group, including personality traits and group dynamics, and how those factors influenced our experiences within the group. We also describe how the process of evaluating these factors impacted us individually and collectively. There was consensus that the group was a safe and trusting one, which was united by similar goals and mutual respect. Members reported gaining insights about how their own personality functioned within the group milieu, and also how the group setting impacted them. Based on our experiences, we recommend that other peer supervision groups consider similar self-evaluations on a periodic basis, both to enhance group functioning and to allow for increased self-awareness and professional growth.
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June 2017

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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October 2016

Demographic differences in willingness to provide broad and narrow consent for biobank research.

Biopreserv Biobank 2015 Apr 31;13(2):98-106. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

1 Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health , Baltimore, Maryland.

Purpose: This study examined acceptability of two biobank consent models and evaluated the impact of beliefs about privacy and genetic safeguards on acceptance.

Methods: U.S. adults surveyed online in English and Spanish were randomly assigned to one of two scenarios examining acceptance of broad consent (n=1528), or narrow consent (n=1533).

Results: Overall, willingness to provide broad (76%) and narrow (74%) consents were similar. African Americans were as likely as white non-Hispanics to accept narrow consent (72% vs. 77%, p=0.35) but significantly less likely to accept broad consent (69% vs. 81%, p=0.004). Education, insurance, and blood donation history were also related to acceptance. Adjusting for beliefs about privacy and policy protections (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, GINA), the effects of the variables were reduced. Respondents who drew comfort from GINA were more likely to support both consent (both p<0.001); those who believed it is impossible to maintain privacy were less likely to find both broad (p=0.04) and narrow models acceptable (p=0.02).

Conclusions: Choice of consent model matters when engaging diverse populations in biobank research. Beliefs underlying concerns about privacy and genetic protections should be considered when constructing biobank protocols.
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April 2015

Parental discussion of G6PD deficiency and child health: implications for clinical practice.

Arch Dis Child 2014 Mar 29;99(3):251-5. Epub 2013 Nov 29.

Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Center for Genomic Literacy and Communication, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, , Baltimore, USA.

Objective: Parents are encouraged to discuss self-care with children affected by G6PD deficiency; however, little is known about the extent or impact of these discussions on the physical and psychosocial health of these children. The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of parental-child discussions of G6PD deficiency self-care and their relationship to child health.

Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional survey of 178 Taiwanese parents of children with G6PD deficiency was conducted. The extent of parental-child self-care discussions was assessed in regards to coverage of nine key topics. Parent's G6PD deficiency status, knowledge of haemolytic anaemia symptoms and reported G6PD deficiency education from providers were examined as correlates of parental discussion. Child health was assessed with the child health questionnaire-parent form (Chinese version) and a 13-item haemolytic anaemia symptom list.

Results: Self-care discussions were positively correlated with parental G6PD deficiency status (β=2.08, p=0.03), accurate identification of haemolytic anaemia symptoms (β=0.18, p=0.01), the thoroughness and clarity of patient education (β=0.14, p<0.001) and child age (β=1.04, p<0.001). Among children reported to have experienced significant symptoms of acute haemolytic anaemia (35%), the extent of self-care discussions was positively associated with reported physical and psychosocial child health (β=1.18, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Parental-child G6PD deficiency self-care discussions are associated with better child health, and parental involvement in these discussions is facilitated by the thoroughness and clarity of patient education received from providers.
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March 2014

Mutation spectrum in the large GTPase dynamin 2, and genotype-phenotype correlation in autosomal dominant centronuclear myopathy.

Hum Mutat 2012 Jun 4;33(6):949-59. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Department of Translational Medicine and Neurogenetics, Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, INSERM U964/CNRS UMR7104, University of Strasbourg, Collège de France, Illkirch, France.

Centronuclear myopathy (CNM) is a genetically heterogeneous disorder associated with general skeletal muscle weakness, type I fiber predominance and atrophy, and abnormally centralized nuclei. Autosomal dominant CNM is due to mutations in the large GTPase dynamin 2 (DNM2), a mechanochemical enzyme regulating cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking in cells. To date, 40 families with CNM-related DNM2 mutations have been described, and here we report 60 additional families encompassing a broad genotypic and phenotypic spectrum. In total, 18 different mutations are reported in 100 families and our cohort harbors nine known and four new mutations, including the first splice-site mutation. Genotype-phenotype correlation hypotheses are drawn from the published and new data, and allow an efficient screening strategy for molecular diagnosis. In addition to CNM, dissimilar DNM2 mutations are associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) peripheral neuropathy (CMTD1B and CMT2M), suggesting a tissue-specific impact of the mutations. In this study, we discuss the possible clinical overlap of CNM and CMT, and the biological significance of the respective mutations based on the known functions of dynamin 2 and its protein structure. Defects in membrane trafficking due to DNM2 mutations potentially represent a common pathological mechanism in CNM and CMT.
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June 2012

Hepatitis B and liver cancer among three Asian American sub-groups: a focus group inquiry.

J Immigr Minor Health 2012 Oct;14(5):858-68

Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Prevalence of hepatitis B among Asian Americans is higher than for any other ethnic group in the United States. Since more than 50% of liver cancer is hepatitis B related, the burden of morbidity and mortality is extremely high among Asian Americans, highlighting the need for culturally appropriate interventions. We conducted focus groups (n = 8) with a total of 58 Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese immigrants in Maryland to explore knowledge, awareness and perceived barriers toward hepatitis B screening and vaccinations. Thematic analysis uncovered generally low levels of knowledge and awareness of hepatitis B risks, screening, and vaccination; inter-generational differences; and barriers to prevention. Some differences arose across ethnic groups, particularly toward perceived orientation to preventive activities and the role of religious groups. High rates of hepatitis B infection among Asian Americans highlight the need for tailored interventions. These findings may assist policy strategists in implementing interventions that will facilitate the integration and scale-up of hepatitis B education, screening, and vaccination campaigns.
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October 2012

Examination of standardized patient performance: accuracy and consistency of six standardized patients over time.

Patient Educ Couns 2011 Nov 20;85(2):194-200. Epub 2010 Nov 20.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Health, Behavior and Society, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Objective: To explore the accuracy and consistency of standardized patient (SP) performance in the context of routine genetic counseling, focusing on elements beyond scripted case items including general communication style and affective demeanor.

Methods: One hundred seventy-seven genetic counselors were randomly assigned to counsel one of six SPs. Videotapes and transcripts of the sessions were analyzed to assess consistency of performance across four dimensions.

Results: Accuracy of script item presentation was high; 91% and 89% in the prenatal and cancer cases. However, there were statistically significant differences among SPs in the accuracy of presentation, general communication style, and some aspects of affective presentation. All SPs were rated as presenting with similarly high levels of realism. SP performance over time was generally consistent, with some small but statistically significant differences.

Conclusion And Practice Implications: These findings demonstrate that well-trained SPs can not only perform the factual elements of a case with high degrees of accuracy and realism; but they can also maintain sufficient levels of uniformity in general communication style and affective demeanor over time to support their use in even the demanding context of genetic counseling. Results indicate a need for an additional focus in training on consistency between different SPs.
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November 2011

Informational content, literacy demands, and usability of websites offering health-related genetic tests directly to consumers.

Genet Med 2010 May;12(5):304-12

Social and Behavioral Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Purpose: As direct-to-consumer genetic testing becomes more available, a diverse group of consumers, including those with limited health literacy, may consider testing. In light of concerns raised about direct-to-consumer genetic testing, this study sought to critically examine whether the informational content, literacy demands, and usability of health-related direct-to-consumer websites met existing recommendations.

Methods: A content analysis was performed on 29 health-related direct-to-consumer websites. Two coders independently evaluated each website for informational content (e.g., benefits, limitations), literacy demands (e.g., reading level), and usability (e.g., ease of navigation).

Results: Most sites presented health conditions and some markers for which they tested, benefits of testing, a description of the testing process, and their privacy policy. Fewer cited scientific literature, explained test limitations, or provided an opportunity to consult a health professional. Key informational content was difficult to locate on most sites. Few sites gave sample disease risk estimates or used common language and explained technical terms consistently. Average reading level was grade 15.

Conclusion: The quality of informational content, literacy demands, and usability across health-related direct-to-consumer websites varied widely. Many users would struggle to find and understand the important information. For consumers to better understand the content on these sites and evaluate the meaning of the tests for their health, sites should lower the demands placed on users by distilling and prioritizing the key informational content while simultaneously attending to the reading level and usability elements. In the absence of regulation compelling such changes, government agencies or professional organizations may need to increase consumer and provider awareness of these issues.
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May 2010