Walden University Depression and Genomics in Patient Care Response


Depression and genomics in patient care

The article Psychiatric Genomics and Mental Health Treatment: Setting the Ethical Agenda discusses the ethical concerns in translating genomic research and putting it into practice through patient care and developing policies. (Kong et al., 2017, p. 3) The first concern is genetic essentialism with regard to genomics revolution may play a role in the increased stigma on people with mental illness. (Kong et al., 2017, p. 3) Genetic essentialism is the tendency to infer a person’s characteristics and behaviors based on their perceived genetics. (Dar-Nimrod & Heine, 2011) Anti-stigma initiatives and campaigns exists to help reduce the stigma on mental illness. They compare having a mental illness to having diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and other conditions. The goal of these campaigns and initiatives are to held decrease the stigma through education and awareness and stress that individuals with mental illness are not to blame for their mental illness nor are they weak-minded. The second concern is with the advance in genomic medicine, the results could lead to psychosocial and therapeutic approaches and the clinical-patient therapeutic alliance being undermined. And lastly, using genomics in mental health treatment can potentially shift the attention away from the causal relationships between inequitable socioeconomic, political, and cultural structures, and negative mental health outcomes. (Kong et al., 2017, p. 3) 

Nurses are and should always be patient advocates. In the mental health field, genomics and patient care can lead to a variety of interpretations and assumptions from the eyes of the patient and staff. Patients can use their diagnosis as an excuse for their behavior and continue to display the behavior and say things such as “I can’t help it”, “It’s in my genes”. Others will feel relieved there is a reason for their displayed behavior and will be willing to actively participate in treatment and therapy to control the signs and symptoms. Nurses should always provide education and remain free of bias in rendering patient care.