Investigating acceptability of a training programme in precision medicine for frontline healthcare professionals: a mixed methods study.

Mitchell, Sharon; Jaccard, Evrim; Schmitz, Felix Michael; von Känel, Elianne; Collombet, Prune; Cornuz, Jacques; Waeber, Gérard; Guessous, Idris; Guttormsen, Sissel (2022). Investigating acceptability of a training programme in precision medicine for frontline healthcare professionals: a mixed methods study. BMC medical education, 22(1), p. 556. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12909-022-03613-2

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Precision Medicine offers tailored prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management to patients that considers genomics, lifestyle and environmental factors. If implementation of Precision Medicine is to advance, effective, focused upskilling of frontline healthcare professionals through quality continuing professional development is needed. This study reports on an evidence-based approach to needs assessment to investigate the current level of knowledge of Precision Medicine, acceptable content for training, the perceived potential of a more precision approach to patient care and motivation to participate in a training programme among pharmacists, advanced practice nurses and general practitioners. Investigating perceived needs can avoid a top-down approach and support a design that is fit for purpose to targeted professions.


This study reports on 2 focus groups (n = 12) delivered in French and German with equal professional participation of the targeted professions. The research objectives were investigated in two phases. During the first phase, a literature review and expert consultations were conducted to develop a definition of PM, patient cases and content for training. In a second phase, these investigations were further explored using focus groups to investigate acceptable learning objectives, the potential of PM to relevant professions and motivation of participants. Quantitative investigations using rating scales and visual analogues were incorporated. The focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed by intelligent verbatim and translated to English. NVivo was used for data analysis and interpretation following a hybrid approach using the Framework Method and thematic analysis. The analytical framework, Implementation Science, was applied to organise and present research data.


Precision Medicine is considered a new topic area, largely unfamiliar to frontline healthcare professionals.. There was acceptance of a more precision approach to care among all participants with perceived positive implications for patients. Valuable insight was gathered on acceptable content and form for training. All participants expressed concerns on readiness within their professions which included an insufficient system infrastructure, a lack of time to attend needed training, a lack of clarity for use in practice and the time needed to build a support network.


A precision approach to patient care is on the horizon for health care professionals not only in hospital settings but also at the community level. Our results conclude that an adaptable and flexible training programme in PM is timely, contextually relevant and conducive to the needs of targeted health professions for successful implementation. A training programme in PM will require support across sectors and stakeholders, supporting insurance models, educated patients and integrated care supported by innovative technology. Implementation Science outcomes are a useful strategy towards design of an effective training programme that can have measurable impact in practice.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute for Medical Education
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Cognitive Psychology, Perception and Methodology

UniBE Contributor:

Mitchell, Sharon; Schmitz, Felix Michael; von Känel, Elianne and Guttormsen, Sissel


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




BioMed Central




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

20 Jul 2022 09:56

Last Modified:

24 Jul 2022 02:06

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Conceptual frameworks Continuing professional development Implementation Science outcomes Precision medicine




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