Uptake of Premarital Genetic Counselling: Awareness and Demand
The prevalence of genetic disorders in Nigeria has become a concern to medical practitioners. Premarital genetic counselling is crucial in the prevention of hereditary disorders, congenital abnormalities and different health problems. This study therefore investigated the correlation between awareness and the need for the uptake of genetic counselling among the students of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. A quantitative correlational research design was adopted for this study using the questionnaire, Awareness and Need for the Uptake of Genetic Counselling Scale (ANUGCS), as a data collection tool. The instrument had 3 sections; Section A contained information on the demographic characteristics of the respondents, Section B had 5 items on students’ awareness, and Section C had 15 items on the need for the uptake of genetic counselling. The purposive sampling technique was adopted in choosing 4 faculties while proportionate sampling was used in selecting 249 respondents across the university. The data obtained were analysed using percentages and mean scores. The Pearson product moment correlation and a regression analysis were used to test the null hypotheses and a p-value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. This study would be of significance to students, intending couples, medical personnel and parents. The results of this study show that (1) the respondents were fully aware of genetic counselling; (2) the need for the uptake of premarital genetic counselling by the respondents was high; and (3) gender significantly influenced the need for the uptake of premarital genetic counselling while age did not. It was therefore recommended that school clinics employ the services of trained genetic counsellors. These counsellors can assist medical practitioners whose clients need counselling about their genetic status.