The purpose of this study was to determine if health care providers in the primary care setting were identifying individuals with increased risks for Alzheimer’s disease and if the utilization of genetic screening related to the disease was being offered to those individuals. Extensive research into the genetic etiology of Alzheimer's disease has proven that some genetic factors are causative and increase a person's risk of developing the disease. The need for further comprehensive assessments for those with increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, such as genetic testing, is imperative in identifying the disease-causing gene mutations associated with the disease. These risk factors include increased age, family history, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, depression, cognitive inactivity, physical inactivity, low education, and specific genetic markers (APOE-e4). Focusing efforts in the primary care setting on identifying patients who are at increased risk of developing the disease prior to the clinical onset allows for the utilization of genetic screening. Identifying cognitively healthy individuals ages 50-75, who are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease-related to their age or genetic variations in genes, will aid providers with diagnosis and clarification of risk for those individuals and their families. The current study addressed these issues with an emphasis on health promotion which has the potential of long term benefits of extending longevity, enhancing the quality of life, and reducing health care cost.
Research was conducted to determine if genetic screening was being utilized in the primary care setting for individuals who are at increased risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. This was done by utilization of a quantitative survey. Strict caution was taken once approval was granted by the Institutional Review Board at Mississippi University for Women, this was to ensure participant privacy and anonymity as data was collected. The researchers provided questions in the form of a survey utilizing SurveyMonkey, Inc. which included demographic data, the determination of provider assessments, the evidence of genetic screening being offered, the cognitive assessments used, the reason genetic screening is not utilized, and the follow-up care provided for those who choose genetic screening. The study had 20 respondents in this sample, which was also considered a limitation in the research. Based on this sample of respondents and upon completion of the data, the study determined that genetic testing was not being utilized by primary care providers in the state of Mississippi for individuals with increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Dr. Carey McCarter
Quinn, Cindy R.; Stockstill, Mallory; Barnes, Lucy; Brown, Jalisha; and Reeves, Angela, "Utilization of Genetic Screening Practices by Primary Care Providers for Individuals with Increased Risks for Alzheimer’s Disease" (2020). MSN Research Projects. 268.