Article

Reasons for participating and genetic information needs among racially and ethnically diverse biobank participants: A focus group study

Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1428 Madison Avenue, Box 1497, New York, NY, 10029, USA.
Journal of community genetics 09/2011; 2(3):153-63. DOI: 10.1007/s12687-011-0052-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In order for DNA biobanks to be a valuable reservoir of genetic information, large numbers of participants from all racial and ethnic backgrounds need to be recruited. This study explored reasons for participating in a new biobank among primarily Hispanic and African American individuals, as well as their general attitudes towards genetic research, and their views on obtaining genetic tests. Focus groups were conducted with Mount Sinai Biobank participants recruited from predominantly lower income, minority communities. The topic guide included questions on The Mount Sinai Biobank, genetic research, and genetic testing. All focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. The six focus groups comprised 43 participants: 39 females and four males, aged 27-76 years, with a median household income category of $20,000-$39,999. Twenty-one participants were Hispanic, 20 African American, one Asian, and one White. Participants' reasons for participating in the biobank included altruism, personal and family benefit, and general curiosity. Although there was evidence of conflation between genetic research and genetic testing, most participants held positive views of genetic research and expressed interest in receiving personal genetic test results. Participants wanted to learn more about genetic research and suggested various venues such as health fairs for disseminating information. Participation in biobanks by racial and ethnic minorities is apparently driven by altruism, and desire for personal or collective health benefits. Participants had generally positive attitudes, limited understanding of genetics and genetic research, and made useful suggestions regarding information dissemination mechanisms.

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Available from: Ethylin Wang Jabs, Dec 24, 2013
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    • "Many in the scientific, medical, and advocacy arena, concerned about the excess disease-related morbidity and mortality and health disparities experienced by African Americans and other racial/ethnic minority populations, believe that the inclusion of biological specimens (and other healthrelated data) from African American and other racial/ethnic minority populations is essential [12] [13] [14]. However, an ever increasing number of reports allude to the limited inclusion of biological specimens (and other health-related data) from ethnic/racial minorities in biorepositories [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] "
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    ABSTRACT: The involvement of African Americans in research has long been expressed as a concern by the scientific community. While efforts have been undertaken to identify factors inhibiting the participation of African Americans in health-related research, few efforts have been undertaken to have highlight factors associated with their engagement of health-related research. An exploratory study of factors presumed to be associated with participation in health-related research was conducted among a nonprobability sample of African Americans (n = 212) from a large urban community in the Midwest. The study was guided by a framework that hypothesized the influence of knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions about genetics and the involvement of providers in decision-making on willingness to participate in health-related genetic research. The results revealed that knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions about genetics and the involvement of providers were associated with willingness to engage in health-related genetic research (P < .05). The most interesting, however, was that 88.7% of the participants who had not previously been involved in a health-related study who expressed a willingness to participate reported that they "had never been asked." Study findings suggest the need for research that further examines factors associated with the involvement of African Americans in health-related genetic research.
    12/2013; 2013(4):749563. DOI:10.1155/2013/749563
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    • "Interview items comprised closed-and open-ended questions which were either adapted from published instruments or developed for this study based on focus groups conducted with patients from the same hospital population (Streicher et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Patients from traditionally underrepresented communities need to be involved in discussions around genomics research including attitudes towards participation and receiving personal results. Structured interviews, including open-ended and closed-ended questions, were conducted with 205 patients in an inner-city hospital outpatient clinic: 48 % of participants self-identified as Black or African American, 29 % Hispanic, 10 % White; 49 % had an annual household income of <$20,000. When the potential for personal results to be returned was not mentioned, 82 % of participants were willing to participate in genomics research. Reasons for willingness fell into four themes: altruism; benefit to family members; personal health benefit; personal curiosity and improving understanding. Reasons for being unwilling fell into five themes: negative perception of research; not personally relevant; negative feelings about procedures (e.g., blood draws); practical barriers; and fear of results. Participants were more likely to report that they would participate in genomics research if personal results were offered than if they were not offered (89 vs. 62 % respectively, p < 0.001). Participants were more interested in receiving personal genomic risk results for cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes than obesity (89, 89, 91, 80 % respectively, all p < 0.001). The only characteristic consistently associated with interest in receiving personal results was disease-specific worry. There was considerable willingness to participate in and desire for personal results from genomics research in this sample of predominantly low-income, Hispanic and African American patients. When returning results is not practical, or even when it is, alternatively or additionally providing generic information about genomics and health may also be a valuable commodity to underrepresented minority and other populations considering participating in genomics research.
    Journal of community genetics 06/2013; 4(4). DOI:10.1007/s12687-013-0154-0
    • "Thus, while many authors have observed the importance of organizational context for understanding biobank policies, it is understudied empirically [5,8,9,19,26-28]. In fact, most empirical studies relevant to policy issues (for example, informed consent, identifiability, return of research results) have focused not on biobanks, but on the views of external stakeholders [29-38]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Effective translational biomedical research hinges on the operation of 'biobanks,' repositories that assemble, store, and manage collections of human specimens and related data. Some are established intentionally to address particular research needs; many, however, have arisen opportunistically, in a variety of settings and with a variety of expectations regarding their functions and longevity. Despite their rising prominence, little is known about how biobanks are organized and function beyond simple classification systems (government, academia, industry). Methods In 2012, we conducted the first national survey of biobanks in the U.S., collecting information on their origins, specimen collections, organizational structures, and market contexts and sustainability. From a list of 636 biobanks assembled through a multi-faceted search strategy, representatives from 456 U.S. biobanks were successfully recruited for a 30-minute online survey (72% response rate). Both closed and open-ended responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results While nearly two-thirds of biobanks were established within the last decade, 17% have been in existence for over 20 years. Fifty-three percent listed research on a particular disease as the most important reason for establishment; 29% listed research generally. Other reasons included response to a grant or gift, and intent to centralize, integrate, or harmonize existing research structures. Biobank collections are extraordinarily diverse in number and types of specimens and in sources (often multiple) from which they are obtained, including from individuals, clinics or hospitals, public health programs, and research studies. Forty-four percent of biobanks store pediatric specimens, and 36% include postmortem specimens. Most biobanks are affiliated in one or multiple ways with other entities: 88% are part of at least one or more larger organizations (67% of these are academic, 23% hospitals, 13% research institutes). The majority of biobanks seem to fill a particular 'niche' within a larger organization or research area; a minority are concerned about competition for services, although many are worried about underutilization of specimens and long-term funding. Conclusions Effective utilization of biobank collections and effective policies to govern their use will require understanding of the immense diversity found in organizational features, including the very different history and primary goals that many biobanks have.
    Genome Medicine 01/2013; 5(1):3. DOI:10.1186/gm407 · 4.94 Impact Factor
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