KNOWLEDGE LEVEL AND ATTITUDES OF QATAR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS TOWARDS GENETIC TESTING AND GENOMIC RESEARCH: A PILOT STUDY
AuthorFadl, Tasnim A.
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Background: Public’s knowledge level of genetic concepts and genetic research influences attitudes toward participation in genetic testing and genomic research. From this perspective, assessing public’s knowledge and attitudes are of key importance to guide the development of educational material and regulatory policies. Aim: We aim in this pilot exploratory study to evaluate knowledge level of genetic concepts and to assess the attitude of Qatar University students toward genome sequencing and participation in genomic research. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted through an online selfadministered survey distributed to Qatar University students. Descriptive statistical analysis such as frequencies and percentages were performed to describe student’s familiarity with genetics, genetic knowledge level, expectations and concerns related to genetic testing, and willingness to donate genomic data for research. Results: Our analysis included 315 responses from Qatar University students. Overall, 60.6% viewed genetic data as exceptional and 63.1% were familiar with genetic terms. Reassurance about health was the most reported expectation by our study participants, and receiving unwanted information was the highest reported concern when pursuing genomic sequencing. In terms of willingness, 71.4% were willing to donate their anonymous medical and genetic information for research Conclusion: Qatar University students have a high awareness level about genetics and have positive attitudes towards participating in genetic research. Further studies are needed to pinpoint contributing factors to Qatar University students’ attitudes.
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