Acceptance of genetic testing in a general population: age, education and gender differences

Patient Educ Couns. Sep-Oct 1997;32(1-2):41-9. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(97)00061-x.


The aim of the study was to analyze effects of age, education and gender on acceptance of genetic testing. Subjects, n = 1967 aged 15-69, were a stratified random sample of the Finnish population. One thousand, one hundred and sixty nine subjects, 530 men and 639 women, returned the questionnaire. The majority of the respondents approved of the availability of genetic testing. Young, aged 15-24, were more favourable towards testing and more willing to undergo suggested tests, but they were also more worried than others about the misuse of test results. Men aged 45-69 with only basic education were more in favour of mandatory genetic testing than other respondents. Respondents with university education were more critical towards genetic testing and expressed their worry about eugenics more often than other education groups. In conclusion, there are age, education and gender related differences in acceptance of genetic testing which need to be taken into account when considering screening programmes and informing the public.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Sex Factors