A qualitative analysis of the attitudes of Irish patients towards participation in genetic-based research.

Authors: McVeigh TP, Sweeney KJ, Kerin MJ, Gallagher DJ.

Source: Ir J Med Sci. 2015 Oct 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Progress in diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in medicine is dependent upon high-quality biomedical research.

We investigated attitudes to genetic research in Ireland, particularly with respect to commercial and financial implications.

METHODS:

A multi-centre, cross-sectional survey study was performed. Consecutive out-patients attending four clinics were asked to complete paper-based questionnaires. The same questionnaire was publicly available in electronic format on www.surveymonkey.com for 72 h. Data were analysed using SPSS.

RESULTS:

351 questionnaires were completed (99 paper, 252 electronic). The majority of respondents were female (n = 288, 82 %), and highly educated, with 244 (70 %) attending college/university. Most participants supported genetic research (267, 76 %), more frequently for common diseases (274, 78 %) than rare disorders (204, 58 %, p < 0.001, χ 2).

A high level of support for genetic research exists among the Irish population, but active participation is dependent upon a number of factors, notably, type of biological material required, frequency of the disease in question, and commercial interest of the researchers.

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