- Suicide is one of the main causes of death for adolescents in the U.S. The most effective
way to decrease suicide is by training doctors to recognize the risk factors in their
clients. One risk factor for suicide is chronic illness. So pediatric genetic counselors come
across high-risk clients. But the suicide risk assessment (SRA) practices of these counselors
are not well known. Researchers want to study learn more about this.
- To describe the practices, attitudes, and beliefs of genetic counselors about SRA of
- Genetic counselors who see adolescents ages 10 21
- A study will be open to a listserv for genetic counselors.
- Participants will take a survey on their own.
- The survey will be online on a secure website.
- Participants will give data about themselves. This can include age, gender, job, etc.
- The survey will be about 60 questions.
- The survey will take around 20 25 minutes.
- The questions are about participants experiences, practices, attitudes, and beliefs
This study proposes to describe the practices, attitudes, and beliefs of genetic counselors
in relation to suicide risk assessment (SRA) of their adolescent clients. Suicide is a major
public health issue and one of the leading causes of death for adolescents in the U.S.
Analysis of suicide prevention campaigns has shown that the most effective way to decrease
suicide is by training physicians to recognize suicide risk factors in their patients .
However, pediatricians do not consistently screen youth for suicide risk during routine
check-ups. As chronic illness is an additional risk factor for suicide, pediatric genetic
counselors encounter particularly high-risk clients and are well-positioned to assess for
suicide risk due to the psychosocial nature of their work. However, the SRA practices of
genetic counselors are largely unknown. In this study, the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior
Change is used as a framework to describe how genetic counselors SRA self-efficacy and
perceptions of the pros and cons of SRA relate to stages of readiness and practices of
assessing clients for suicide risk. Specifically, we will be surveying genetic counselors
about their practices, attitudes and beliefs concerning SRA of adolescent clients. First, we
will determine genetic counselors frequency of SRA and their stage of readiness for routine
screening. Second, we will measure genetic counselors SRA self-efficacy and their perceptions
of the pros and cons of screening their clients. We will examine whether self-efficacy and
perceptions of pros and cons are predictors of genetic counselors stage of readiness for
routine suicide screening. Finally, we will qualitatively assess genetic counselors
perceptions of the usability of a validated suicide screening tool (the ASQ) in genetic
counseling sessions and their interest in receiving suicide screening training. We will use a
cross-sectional, mixed-methods design in which counselors will complete an online
questionnaire with quantitative components and open-ended responses. Participants will be
recruited through the National Society of Genetic Counselors Student Research Survey
- INCLUSION CRITERIA:
Participants in this study will be English speaking women and men who are graduates of
accredited genetic counseling programs. Those who currently or within the past year have
worked in-person with adolescent patients between the ages of 10 and 21 may be included in