The role of genetic/genomic factors in health, illness and care provision
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The role of genetic/genomic factors in health, illness and care provision

Emma Tonkin Senior research fellow, Faculty of Life Sciences and Education, University of South Wales, Pontypridd
Heather Skirton Professor of applied health genetics, Plymouth University

This is the fifth in a series of articles on genetics. This article focuses on the science that informs health care and explains how genetics (the study of inheritance and variation) and genomics (the study of the structure and function of the genome and its interactions with the environment) relate to health, illness and care provision. This article does not set out to review all of the core concepts in genetics that healthcare professionals should be familiar with, although the authors do refer to a number in the article. The authors consider why it is important to have an understanding of these concepts, how this can make a difference to practice and refer the reader to additional sources of information.

Nursing Standard. 28, 12,39-46. doi: 10.7748/ns2013.11.28.12.39.e7550

Received: 16 January 2013

Accepted: 14 June 2013

Published in print: 20 November 2013

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review