Affiliations: University of Manitoba, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health, Children' Hospital, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Centre for Genomics and Policy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Human Genetics, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
Abstract: There are mounting expectations that health care will be rapidly transformed by developments in genetics. While genetic technologies bring hope for effective diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of medical conditions, challenges have also emerged as to its application. Simply put, how do we ensure that knowledge gleaned from diverse sources will be collected, consulted, analyzed appropriately, and turned into informed policy? This question is particularly relevant for a broad community of stakeholders including pediatric health care professionals and policy makers, because as stakeholders they have a voice in how the information is ultimately used. New strategies are needed to involve all users of the knowledge particularly early on in the process. A team funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is currently focusing on this issue and is proposing a knowledge translation strategy relating genetics to pediatric health. An interdisciplinary approach characterized by consultation and collective engagement with stakeholders from an early stage and throughout the research process is essential to promote potential use and ownership of the results. Comments from users on the areas of research, sources of data, the evidence and drafts of the work in progress would increase the possibility of formulating recommendations better suited to inform decision making process in public health policy orientation. As a result, we can expect greater integration and acceptance of the recommendations, more pertinent guidelines for the physician, and maximal benefit for the patient, the ultimate consumer.