Genetic Testing in the Latinx community: Impact of acculturation and provider relationships

Gynecol Oncol. 2023 Feb;169:125-130. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2022.12.001. Epub 2022 Dec 26.


Objectives: The current study aimed to explore attitudes toward genetic germline testing and intentions to test in Latinas from Southern California. We hypothesized that patients' acculturation and education levels, as well as comfort with health care providers, are positively associated with attitudes and intentions toward genetic testing.

Methods: A survey was offered concurrently to Latinx female patients at a gynecologic oncology practice and to unaffiliated Latinx community members. The survey assessed demographics, structural, psychosocial, and acculturation factors and genetic testing attitudes and intentions via validated scales.

Results: Of 148 surveys collected, 66% of responders had low levels of acculturation. 50% of women had government-subsidized insurance; 22% had no schooling in the US. 67% of participants did not carry a diagnosis of cancer. Women with higher acculturation levels were more likely to consider genetic testing (rs = 0.54, p = .001). Higher acculturated women and less acculturated women under 50 were more likely to consider testing if it had been recommended by a female, trusted, or Hispanic/Latinx provider (rs = 0.22, p = .01, rs = 0.27, p = .003 and rs = 0.19, p = .003, respectively) or if there was a recent cancer diagnosis (self or family, rs = 0.19, p = .03). Overall, education correlated with intention to test. The more education outside of the US, the less negative was the attitude toward being tested (rs = -0.41, p = .002).

Conclusions: Direct experiences with cancer, more schooling and higher acculturation coupled with provider characteristics determined if Latinas were more open to testing. Provider characteristics mattered: having a female, Latinx, Spanish speaking provider was important for genetic testing decision-making. These findings are particularly pertinent in areas with high Latinx populations.

Keywords: Genetic testing; Gynecologic cancers; Latinx.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires