Genetic Testing Awareness and Attitudes among Latinos: Exploring Shared Perceptions and Gender-Based DifferencesHamilton J.G.a · Shuk E.a · Arniella G.d · González C.J.b · Gold G.S.e · Gany F.b · Robson M.E.c · Hay J.L.a
aBehavioral Sciences Service and bImmigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, cClinical Genetics Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and dHarlem Residency in Family Medicine, The Institute for Family Health, New York, N.Y., and eDepartment of Psychology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y., USA
Jada G. Hamilton
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
641 Lexington Avenue, 7th floor
New York, NY 10022 (USA)
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Background: Latinos, whose views are infrequently examined in genomic research, may be at risk of missing out on the benefits of genomic medicine. Aims: To explore this possibility, we conducted a qualitative study of awareness and attitudes about genetic testing among Latinos with lower acculturation in New York City. Methods: We conducted four focus groups (7 English-speaking men, 5 Spanish-speaking men, 13 English-speaking women and 13 Spanish-speaking women) to explore factors that influence the adoption of new innovations through the discussion of genetic testing in general, and a hypothetical vignette describing a genetic test for skin cancer risk, in particular. Results: Through inductive thematic text analysis of focus group transcripts, our multidisciplinary team identified themes within knowledge and attitudes, communication and sources of information, anticipated responses, factors that may increase adoption, and barriers to adoption of genetic testing. Specifically, a majority of participants expressed some degree of uncertainty regarding the purpose of genetic tests and information these tests provide, rarely discussed genetic testing with others in their social networks, and expressed concerns about the misuse of and possible adverse emotional responses to genetic information. However, participants also expressed high levels of interest in receiving a skin cancer genetic test in response to the vignette and believed that receiving actionable health information was a primary reason to consider testing. Gender-based differences in perceived barriers to testing emerged. Conclusions: The results highlight beliefs and barriers that future interventions could target to help ensure that Latinos have adequate understanding of and access to genomic medicine advances.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel
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