Defining Our Clinical Practice: The Identification of Genetic Counseling Outcomes Utilizing the Reciprocal Engagement Model

Krista Redlinger-Grosse, Patricia Mc Carthy Veach, Stephanie Cohen, Bonnie S. LeRoy, Ian M. MacFarlane, Heather Zierhut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The need for evidence-based medicine, including comparative effectiveness studies and patient-centered outcomes research, has become a major healthcare focus. To date, a comprehensive list of genetic counseling outcomes, as espoused by genetic counselors, has not been established and thus, identification of outcomes unique to genetic counseling services has become a priority for the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC). The purpose of this study was to take a critical first step at identifying a more comprehensive list of genetic counseling outcomes. This paper describes the results of a focus group study using the Reciprocal-Engagement Model (REM) as a framework to characterize patient-centered outcomes of genetic counseling clinical practice. Five focus groups were conducted with 27 peer nominated participants who were clinical genetic counselors, genetic counseling program directors, and/or outcomes researchers in genetic counseling. Members of each focus group were asked to identify genetic counseling outcomes for four to five of the 17 goals of the REM. A theory-driven, thematic analysis of focus group data yielded 194 genetic counseling outcomes across the 17 goals. Participants noted some concerns about how genetic counseling outcomes will be measured and evaluated given varying stakeholders and the long-term nature of genetic concerns. The present results provide a list of outcomes for use in future genetic counseling outcomes research and for empirically-supported clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-257
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc.

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Focus group
  • Genetic counseling
  • Goals
  • Outcomes
  • Outcomes research
  • Reciprocal-engagement model

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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