Measuring Attitudes About Genomic Medicine: Validation of the Genomic Orientation Scale (GO Scale)

Value Health. 2021 Jul;24(7):1030-1037. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2021.02.001. Epub 2021 Apr 2.


Objectives: Assessing public attitudes about genomic medicine is critical for anticipating patient receptivity to clinical applications of genomics. Although scholars have highlighted the importance of assessing stakeholder opinions and views regarding advances in clinical genomics, to date there has not been a robust tool for measuring these attitudes. We designed a study to evaluate the validity of an instrument we developed for measuring attitudes about genomic medicine.

Methods: We used psychometric methods to validate the Genomic Orientation Scale (GO Scale). Our goal was to create an easy-to-use tool for evaluating positive and negative attitudes about genomic medicine.

Results: We describe the validation testing of the GO Scale in a nationally representative sample of 1536 individuals residing in the United States. We report results from convergent and divergent validity testing and Rasch modeling analysis. The study produced a 26-item scale with 2 dimensions-optimism and pessimism.

Conclusions: The GO Scale may be used to characterize attitudinal perspectives among patients, clinicians, and the public. The GO Scale may also be useful in evaluating shifts in attitude over time, for example, following educational interventions, which has not been feasible to date.

Keywords: genetics; genomics; public attitudes; scale.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Genomic Medicine*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Public Opinion*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Young Adult