Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Genetic Testing: A Two Year Follow-Up Study in Patients with Asthma, Diabetes Mellitus and Cardiovascular Disease
Hiske Calsbeek, NIVEL, Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands, and NIVEL, PO Box 1568, BN Utrecht, 3500, The Netherlands. Mattijn Morren, Jozien Bensing and Mieke Rijken, NIVEL, PO Box 1568, BN Utrecht, 3500, The Netherlands.
Published in Journal of Genetic Counseling (Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 493-504, August 2007).
Abstract: Adequate knowledge and personal attitudes towards DNA-testing are major determinants of optimal utilization of genetic testing. This study aims to (1) assess the genetic knowledge and attitude towards genetic testing of patients with asthma, diabetes mellitus type II and cardiovascular diseases, (2) determine whether their knowledge or attitude changed since 2002, and (3) investigate the predictive role of knowledge on attitude. Data were collected within the Panel of Patients with Chronic Diseases in 2002 and 2004, resulting in 398 data-pairs. Results show that factual knowledge mainly relates to associations between genes and diseases, less is known on associations between genes, chromosomes, cells and body. The perceived knowledge on DNA-testing has not increased since 2002. The attitude towards genetic testing also appeared to be rather consistent. Less perceived medical genetic knowledge and more perceived social genetic knowledge were found predictive for a more reserved attitude towards genetic testing. In conclusion, advanced developments in the field of genetics are not accompanied by increased knowledge of patients with common multi-factorial diseases. The finding that more perceived social genetic knowledge results in more reluctance can be considered an indicator for the necessity of social debates on genetic testing.
Author contact: Hiske Calsbeek Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Article available online.
(C) Journal of Genetic Counseling.
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