Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Public Health (M.S.P.H.)

Degree Granting Department

Global Health

Major Professor

Deborah Cragun, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kathryn Schwarting, MS, CGC

Committee Member

Katie Sullivan, MS, CGC

Committee Member

Marleah Dean Kruzel, Ph.D.


communication, genetic counseling, process measures


Given that genetic counseling (GC) is a discipline that relies on communication to help people understand and adapt to the genetic contribution of disease, a practical method of comprehensively documenting GC communication strategies is needed to better understand the communication strategies utilized by genetic counselors and the variability that exists within the process. To this end, we created a novel process measure called the Genetic Counseling Communication Checklist (GCC), utilizing previously validated measures, communication/counseling theories, and research findings. Two researchers independently coded six video-taped mock GC sessions using the GCC. Following each session, the GCC was further modified to improve clarity, content validity, and reliability. Reviewers agreed on category ratings for four of the eight categories during the initial rounds of review (i.e. 50% agreement between raters) By the last two cases there were no disagreements in category ratings (though variation continued in whether a few items were checked). The final GCC contains 4 to 8 items within each category and successfully captures all major communication strategies implemented by counselors in the video sessions. The next step will be to pilot the GCC in real-world GC sessions.

Keywords: genetic counseling, process measures, communication, skills, strategies.

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Public Health Commons