Incorporation of a genetics-based information module into standardized diabetes patient education


      • A brief genetics educational module can enhance typical diabetes education content.
      • Knowledge of genetics of diabetes and genetic testing significantly increased.
      • Motivation to adopt healthy behaviors significantly increased after the module.
      • Participant’s interest in genetic testing appropriately decreased after the module.
      • The module was effective across a diverse group of participants.



      The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a genetics educational module created to improve understanding about the genetics of diabetes, assess motivation to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors, and gauge interest in genetic testing for diabetes.


      Participants were recruited from the Multidisciplinary Comprehensive Diabetes Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Participants completed a pre-survey to assess three domains: (1) knowledge about diabetes etiology and testing, (2) healthy lifestyle behaviors, and (3) interest in genetic testing. Participants viewed a short, recorded educational module, then completed a post-survey to re-assess the domains.


      Participants increased knowledge about genetics of diabetes (p < 0.0001) and genetic testing (p = 0.0184), demonstrated motivation to adopt healthy behaviors (p < 0.0001), and decreased interest in genetic testing (p = 0.0833) after viewing the module.


      The educational module increased understanding of diabetes and increased motivation to adopt healthy behaviors. The need for patient-friendly educational modules explaining the genetics of diabetes will likely increase with continued discoveries of how genetics contributes to diabetes risk and outcomes. This short, educational module has the potential to provide genetic information in an effective way that is easily adapted in a routine clinic setting.


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