• Genetic;
  • Jordan;
  • Midwives;
  • Nurses;
  • Perceptions and Attitudes;
  • Role;
  • Teaching

GHARAIBEH H., OWEIS A. & HAMAD K.H. (2010) Nurses' and midwives' knowledge and perceptions of their role in genetic teaching. International Nursing Review

Background:  There is a high incidence of birth defects and genetic disorders in Jordan. The purpose of this study was to explore Jordanian nurses' and midwives' knowledge and perceptions of their role in genetic teaching.

Method:  A descriptive cross-sectional design with a convenience sample of 200 registered nurses and midwives was used. Nurses and midwives were recruited from three maternal and child health hospitals located in the northern part of Jordan. Eligible participants who met the inclusion criteria were invited to participate in the study. A sociodemographic data form and a questionnaire concerning nurses' and midwives' attitudes and perceptions of their role in genetic teaching were developed for self-administration.

Results:  Findings indicated that the majority (86 per cent) of nurses and midwives had an inadequate level of knowledge regarding genetic teaching regarding their roles in obtaining family history and pedigrees, and providing genetic information for affected persons or high-risk families. Furthermore, the findings indicated that nurses and midwives perceived that genetic teaching is the responsibility of other health professionals or the responsibility of genetic services centres rather than their responsibility.

Conclusions:  Nurses and midwives need to be better educated about genetics to effectively assume new roles as genetic educators and counsellors. This study documented how Jordanian nurse educators have to work to generate a new cadre of people who are adequately prepared to deliver such a service and who identify with the need for this service.