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J Li, PP Lee, S Buckley, SS Stinnett, RR Allingham, P Challa; Attitudes Toward Genetic Testing For Glaucoma: A Survey of Patients . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):1077.
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Purpose:To determine the interest in and comfort with genetic testing for glaucoma and to analyze factors associated with high interest or comfort. Methods:Glaucoma patients seen at Duke University Eye Center were surveyed regarding their family history of glaucoma, knowledge about genetics, sources of knowledge, level of education and comfort with genetic testing as well as age and gender. Information on the level of interest in genetic testing, use of the results, and willingness to have children tested were also collected. Statistical analysis (Chi-Square) with SAS was performed to determine which variable(s) were associated with high level of interest or comfort. Results:One hundred and thirty-three consecutive patients with a diagnosis of glaucoma participated in and completed the survey. Out of these patients, 43.6% were comfortable, and 6.8% uncomfortable with the idea of genetic testing. The rest (49.6%) were unsure. Of the variables, the source of knowledge (p=0.0075), level of education (p=0.0005), and willingness to have children tested (p<0.0001) were significantly associated with the comfort level. For this same group of patients, 61.8% were interested in the testing, 8.4% not interested, and 29.8% were unsure. Among all variables, willingness to have children tested was significantly associated with level of interest (p<0.0001). The level of comfort was significantly associated with level of interest (p<0.0001). Conclusion:A very small percentage of glaucoma patients surveyed were uncomfortable with or not interested in genetic testing for glaucoma. However, a significant number of participants were unsure. The higher the level of education, the more comfortable the participants were with genetic testing. Patients who were comfortable with or interested in testing were more likely to have their children tested. As to be expected, patients with high level of comfort with genetic testing were more likely to be interested in having the test. Information from this survey may be used to design programs aiming at increasing patients' interest in genetic testing, and better understanding why patients were unsure will be an important subject of future research.
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