Objective

To determine if an existing course in genetics should be revised to refocus on the topic of genomics and its impact on health and primary care, a survey of chiropractors was conducted regarding genomics and patient care.

Methods

A short survey was designed to ascertain chiropractors' knowledge and use of genomics in their practices, particularly regarding direct to consumer genetic testing. Nine closed-ended questions and 2 open-ended questions were included. Pearson correlation was used to evaluate relationships between close-ended responses. Content analysis was conducted on the final open-ended question that queried respondents for further comments.

Results

There were 181 completed surveys returned. Patients do ask chiropractors about their own direct to consumer genetic testing results—42% indicated that they are approached by patients 1–3 times per month to discuss genetics/genomics. Knowledge of genomics varies among chiropractors, yet 51% feel that teaching genomics is moderately (31%) or extremely (20%) important.

Conclusion

An introductory course in clinical genomics is necessary to prepare a chiropractor for patient care.

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Author notes

Kara Burnham is an associate professor at the University of Western States (8000 NE Tillamook Street, Portland, OR 97213; kburnham@uws.edu). Leslie Takaki is an institutional review board administrator and director of scholarly activity at the University of Western States (8000 NE Tillamook Street, Portland, OR 97213; ltakaki@uws.edu).

Concept development: KB. Design: KB, LT. Supervision: KB. Data collection/processing: KB, LT. Analysis/interpretation: KB, LT. Literature search: KB. Writing: KB, LT. Critical review: KB, LT.