Jehannine C. Austin

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Genetic counseling can result in better outcomes when clients understand what to expect, and at least theoretically, at some point in their lifespan, anyone could be referred for or benefit from genetic counseling. Thus, in order to identify (and ultimately address) issues around awareness of genetic counseling and perceptions of its purpose, we surveyed(More)
To facilitate the development of a therapeutic alliance in genetic counseling, it is important that the counselor understands how families might perceive the condition that constitutes the reason for the referral. Through training and professional practice, genetic counselors develop a thorough understanding of families’ perceptions of the conditions that(More)
Discussions about genetic contributions to medical illness have become increasingly commonplace. Physicians and other health-care providers in all quarters of medicine, from oncology to psychiatry, routinely field questions about the genetic basis of the medical conditions they treat. Communication about genetic testing and risk also enter into these(More)
Many people, including genetic counselors, have been found to hold stigmatizing attitudes towards people with mental illnesses. We aimed to determine whether these attitudes could be changed by exposing genetic counselors and genetic counseling students to a documentary film about people with mental illness. We screened the documentary at the 2010 North(More)
Genetic counselors and parents of individuals with Down syndrome (DS) agree that descriptions of DS in prenatal settings should be “balanced.” However, there is no consensus regarding what constitutes a balanced description of DS. A survey was designed in collaboration with, and sent to the membership of, the British Columbia based Lower Mainland Down(More)
The first practice based competencies (PBCs) for the field of genetic counseling were adopted by the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC), 1996. Since that time, there has been significant growth in established and new work settings (clinical and non-clinical) and changes in service delivery models and the roles of genetic counselors. These changes(More)
Psychiatric genetic counseling (PGC) is an emerging specialty discipline within the genetic counseling profession. A specialist PGC service was founded in 2012 in Vancouver, Canada, and though patient benefits have been demonstrated, many physicians do not regularly refer patients to the service despite awareness of its availability. We conducted a(More)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has primarily pediatric onset and well-documented unique impacts on family functioning. Limited research has assessed the understanding that parents of children with OCD have of the etiology of the condition, and there are no data regarding potential applications of genetic counseling for this population. We recruited 13(More)
Genetic counseling is a well-established healthcare discipline that provides individuals and families with health information about disorders that have a genetic component in a supportive counseling encounter. It has recently been applied in the context of psychiatric disorders (like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, obsessive(More)
My relationship with NSGC began back in 2002, when I was a student at the University of British Columbia. I was drawn to NSGC because of a true and deep belief in what we do, and getting involved seemed to be a way to advocate for ourselves and for our patients on a bigger scale. The people I saw involved in the leadership of NSGC were people who I found(More)