Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School

Nursing

Advisor

Mary Verklan

Abstract

Sickle cell trait (SCT) is a very prevalent disorder in the United States, especially among African Americans or people of African descent. However, even with the prevalence of the disorder, there are no standardized guidelines for providing patients with information about SCT and the implications of the disorder at physicals and well-check visits. The purpose of this evidence-based project was to increase awareness for African American patients 18â??44 years old in the practice setting about SCT and to provide options for testing and genetic counseling. Kotter's contemporary change theory was used as a guide to implement the new practice approach. A quasi-experimental, single-group, pretest-posttest-only design was used to explore the relationship between providing consistent SCT education and the impact on the rate of SCT screening and genetic counseling. A total of 71 patients participated in the program. The analysis showed a significant (p < 0.001) mean difference of 18.16 points from the preintervention SCT and genetics test mean, which indicated that the intervention was successful in raising SCT and genetics knowledge scores among the target population. The results demonstrated that the implementation of SCT education in the practice setting can enhance social implications related to SCT awareness and opportunities for SCT testing and genetic counseling. The implementation of SCT clinical guidelines can help to increase awareness about SCT and improve the overall population health and reduce the financial burden affiliated with care of those with sickle cell disease and SCT complications.

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