Public and biobank participant attitudes toward genetic research participation and data sharing

Public Health Genomics. 2010;13(6):368-77. doi: 10.1159/000276767. Epub 2010 Jan 15.


Research assessing attitudes toward consent processes for high-throughput genomic-wide technologies and widespread sharing of data is limited. In order to develop a better understanding of stakeholder views toward these issues, this cross-sectional study assessed public and biorepository participant attitudes toward research participation and sharing of genetic research data. Forty-nine individuals participated in 6 focus groups; 28 in 3 public focus groups and 21 in 3 NUgene biorepository participant focus groups. In the public focus groups, 75% of participants were women, 75% had some college education or more, 46% were African-American and 29% were Hispanic. In the NUgene focus groups, 67% of participants were women, 95% had some college education or more, and the majority (76%) of participants was Caucasian. Five major themes were identified in the focus group data: (a) a wide spectrum of understanding of genetic research; (b) pros and cons of participation in genetic research; (c) influence of credibility and trust of the research institution; (d) concerns about sharing genetic research data and need for transparency in the Policy for Sharing of Data in National Institutes of Health-Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies; (e) a need for more information and education about genetic research. In order to increase public understanding and address potential concerns about genetic research, future efforts should be aimed at involving the public in genetic research policy development and in identifying or developing appropriate educational strategies to meet the public's needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Genetic Research*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Public Opinion*
  • United States