Public Health Genomics. 2018 Nov 8:1-10. doi: 10.1159/000493971. [Epub ahead of print]
Implementation of a Carrier Screening Program in a High-Risk Undergraduate Student Population Using Digital Marketing, Online Education, and Telehealth.
Access to preconception carrier screening, which provides at-risk couples with more reproductive options, is critically important. To address this need in the Jewish community, genetic counselors at Emory University launched JScreen (www.jscreen.org), a national online genetic disease education and carrier screening program. To reach the preconception demographic, JScreen initiated a study evaluating the impact of marketing and education on knowledge and screening activity on college campuses.
Students at 10 universities were targeted with a marketing campaign designed for this initiative. Those who elected screening were provided pre-test video education designed for the study. Success was assessed through enrollment in testing, comparison of pre- and post-education knowledge quizzes, and patient satisfaction surveys evaluating genetic counseling and the JScreen process.
A total of 1,794 participants were enrolled. Over 99% of those screened were not pregnant. Knowledge quiz scores improved significantly post-education, and patient satisfaction was over 98%.
Findings suggested that the use of targeted marketing helped promote preconception screening in this population. The study demonstrated that video education was effective in educating participants about benefits and limitations of testing. Also, the use of telehealth technology facilitated access to professional genetic counseling services. This study serves as a model for future public health initiatives.
© 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Carrier; Counseling; Education; Genetic counseling; Jewish population; Screening; Technology; Telehealth