Motivations and concerns of patients considering participation in an implementation study of a hereditary cancer risk assessment program in diverse primary care settings

Genet Med. 2022 Mar;24(3):610-621. doi: 10.1016/j.gim.2021.11.017. Epub 2021 Nov 23.


Purpose: Understanding the motivations and concerns of patients from diverse populations regarding participation in implementation research provides the needed evidence about how to design and conduct studies for facilitating access to genetics services. Within a hereditary cancer screening study assessing a multifaceted intervention, we examined primary care patients' motivations and concerns about participation.

Methods: We surveyed and interviewed study participants after they enrolled, surveyed those who did not complete enrollment, and used descriptive qualitative and quantitative methods to identify motivations and concerns regarding participation.

Results: Survey respondents' most common motivations included a desire to learn about their future risk (81%), receiving information that may help family (58%), and a desire to advance research (34%). Interviews revealed 3 additional important factors: affordability of testing, convenience of participation, and clinical relationships supporting research decision-making. Survey data of those who declined enrollment showed that the reasons for declining included concerns about privacy (38%), burdens of the research (19%), and their fear of not being able to cope with the genetic information (19%).

Conclusion: Understanding the facilitating factors and concerns that contribute to decisions about research may reveal ways to improve equity in access to care and research that could lead to greater uptake of genomic medicine across diverse primary care patient populations.

Keywords: Cancer; Concerns; Genetics; Motivations; Primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Neoplasms*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires