An exploration of attitudes among black Americans towards psychiatric genetic research.
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AbstractWith increasing emphasis on understanding genetic contribution to disease, inclusion of all racial and ethnic groups in molecular genetic research is necessary to ensure parity in distribution of research benefits. Blacks are underrepresented in large-scale genetic studies of psychiatric disorders. In an effort to understand the reasons for the underrepresentation, this study explored black participants' attitudes towards genetic research of psychiatric disorders. Twenty-six adults, the majority of whom were black (n = 18) were recruited from a New York City community to participate in six 90-minute focus groups. This paper reports findings about respondents' understanding of genetics and genetic research, and opinions about psychiatric genetic research. Primary themes revealed participants' perceived lack of knowledge about genetics, concerns about potentially harmful study procedures, and confidentiality surrounding mental illness in families. Participation incentives included provision of treatment or related service, monetary compensation, and reporting of results to participants. These findings suggest that recruitment of subjects into genetic studies should directly address procedures, privacy, benefits and follow-up with results. Further, there is critical need to engage communities with education about genetics and mental illness, and provide opportunities for continued discussion about concerns related to genetic research.
CitationMurphy E, Thompson A. An exploration of attitudes among black Americans towards psychiatric genetic research. Psychiatry. 2009 Summer;72(2):177-94. doi: 10.1521/psyc.2009.72.2.177. PMID: 19614555; PMCID: PMC3149821.
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