Individual genetic and genomic variation: a new opportunity for personalized nursing interventions

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Abstract

Aims.

A discussion of the potential for improving nursing interventions through tailoring in consideration of patients’ individual genetic/genomic variation.

Background.

Nurses have not yet maximized use of genetic/genomic information in planning and delivering nursing care outside of the context of monogenetic disease. Approaches from personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics have not yet been applied to development or delivery of nursing interventions. There are potentially many nursing interventions that would be more effective if they were individually tailored to the patient'sgenetic/genomic profile.

Design.

Discussion paper.

Data sources.

Published literature from 2008–2014 (one legacy paper from 1994 is also cited); Wellcome Trust and Genome.gov websites.

Implications for nursing.

There is a need for development of genetic/genomic research that directly addresses questions vital to nursing science, including biological plausibility studies. Research is also needed to inform the design and delivery of nursing interventions for common complex diseases tailored to consider genetic/genomic variability. Predicting responses to nursing interventions based on genetic/genomic variability may increase the probability that the first intervention employed will lead to optimal outcomes for each patient.

Conclusion.

Integrating genetic/genomic variability, from biological plausibility research through intervention research into evidence-based practice, has the potential to move nursing forward.

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