Attitudes towards genetic testing and information: does parenthood shape the views?
Saastamoinen, Antti; Hyttinen, Virva; Kortelainen, Mika; Aaltio, Juho; Auranen, Mari; Ylikallio, Emil; Lönnqvist, Tuula; Sainio, Markus; Suomalainen, Anu; Tyynismaa, Henna; Isohanni, Pirjo (2020)
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This study examines how parents of pediatric patients might differ in their views and attitudes towards genetic technology and information when compared to adult patients. There is surprisingly little evidence on how parents compare to other parts of population in their attitudes. Previous empirical studies often relate health-related preferences and attitudes to factors such as age, education, and income instead of parental status, thus evading comparison of parents to others as health-related decision makers. Findings related to the parental status can be useful when implementing genetic technology in clinical practice. We conducted a survey of views on genetic technology and information for groups of adult neurology patients (n=68) and parents of pediatric neurology patients (n=31) to shed some light on this issue. In addition to our own survey instrument, we conducted other surveys to gain insight on psychosocial factors that might affect these attitudes. The results suggest that parents are more concerned about their children’s genetic risk factors when compared to the attitudes of adult patients about their own risk. For both groups, negative emotional state was associated with more concerns towards genetic information. Our study provides insights on how parental views might affect the acceptance of genetic technology and information.
Genetic information, Parental attitudes, Survey, Finland