Impact of genetic information and genetic counseling on public health
This chapter reviews the evolution of the genetic counseling process as an integral part of genetic health and medical care. It discusses the settings in which genetic counseling presently occurs and who provides these services. This discussion includes the role of genetic counseling as an adjunct to testing in preconception and prenatal care, as well as in general medicine. The chapter also reviews literature on the impact of various genetic counseling and testing programs on patients' quality of life and health-related behaviors. It concludes with a discussion of the current role of genetic counseling in public health, and an examination of the advantages and disadvantages of a model that addresses and integrates the goals of both fields while maximizing the strengths of each.
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