Knowledge and attitude toward genetic counseling and testing among parents of children with genetic disorder in the West Bank /Palestine
Introduction: Genetic disorder is a health problem that caused by a defect in theindividuals' DNA. In Palestine there is no specific statistics about mortality rate of children who suffer from genetic disorders. Although, there is a big chance to catch a lot of genetic, because of consanguinity rate which exceed (44%) (Hussein, 2014). It is notacable that the newcase from the sane family have been increased without any genetic counseling or prevention. The insufficiency of public health services directed to the prevention of genetic disorders, with the lack of health care increase the problem. Therefor, the study aim is to describe parents knowledge and attitudes toward genetic counseling and testing and to determine if knowledge affect attitudes. Methodology: A quantitative descriptive cross sectional study via a questionnaire, quiz test (to evaluate knowledge), and likert scale (to evaluate attitudes was used in this study, to discover the relationship between variables. The sample size was 121 participants who attended the two hospitals (Palestine Medical Complex and Al-Najah National Hospital) from (Feb\ 2016 to Sep\ 2016). Results: The study showed that there is a significant relationship between parents educational level and their knowledge regards genetic disorders (P. 0.003). The most significant risk factors for genetic disorder were ignoring premarital genetic testing for (99.2%) ; consanguineous marriage (71,1%) and family history of genetic problem for (55.4%). The study found that most of parents of children with genetic problems had good knowledge regards genetic disorders (63%), Whereas, the attitudes of these parents were positive for a majority of items that measure attitude level (81%for agreed answer). The relationship between knowledge and attitudes was positive and research hypothesis regards the effect of knowledge on attitude had been accepted. However, here was no association between number of children whose affected or lost by genetic problems and the parents knowledge and attitudes in this study. This study recommended to increase awareness of parents about genetic importance of premarital testing which avoid consanguinity and these are the golden tool to decrease genetic problem in Palestine.