Online Program

Assessment of attitudes toward breast cancer genetics among five underserved special population groups

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, Institute for Health Promotion Research, San Antonio, TX
Alan Holden, PhD, The Institute for Health Promotion Research, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Linda Burhansstipanov, DrPH, Native American Cancer Research Corporation, Pine, CO
Kipling Gallion, MA, Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Objective: This study evaluated genetic testing interest and specific attitudes to it in five population groups. We sought to identify differences in genetic testing interest and attitudes.

Methods: This cross-sectional study utilized self-report data from five groups (African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latina, Native American, or Appalachian; 49 participants total). Survey items were informed by previous research and input from representatives of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Special Populations Networks (SPN). Descriptive and nonparametric statistical techniques were used.

Results: Testing interest was high generally. All groups endorsed more benefits than risks. Latinas endorsed more total benefits and fewer total risks to testing than African Americans (p<0.001) and Native Americans (p=0.001). Additionally, there were differences between groups with respect to endorsement of specific benefits and/or risks. These included testing to follow doctor recommendation (p=0.022), concern for effects on family (p=0.044), distrust of modern medicine (p=0.014), cost (p=0.041) and concerns about communication of results to others (p=0.032). Finally, we observed a significant inverse relationship between interest and genetic testing cost (p<0.050).

Conclusions: Breast cancer genetic testing interest was high, and the majority of women found more benefits to testing than risk although these vary by group. Cost may be an important barrier to obtaining genetic testing services. Research with a larger sample is recommended to explore different Latina perceptions compared to other groups.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify some underserved special populations in the United States. Discuss similarities and differences in genetic testing acceptibility among these populations.

Keyword(s): Genetics, Disease Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My primary goal is to research the causes and solutions for health disparities affecting residents locally, regionally and nationally. My Institute's research and community outreach include all chronic diseases, with special emphasis on cancer prevention and control. With over 30 years' experience in program planning, implementation and evaluation, much of my work has focused on underserved Latino audiences. I have led multiple NCI-funded programs and am PI of Redes en Accion (Networks in Action).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.