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Perceptions and understanding of genetics and genetic eye disease and attitudes to genetic testing and gene therapy in a primary eye care setting

Ganne, Pratyusha, Garrioch, Robert and Votruba, Marcela 2015. Perceptions and understanding of genetics and genetic eye disease and attitudes to genetic testing and gene therapy in a primary eye care setting. Ophthalmic Genetics 36 (1) , pp. 50-57. 10.3109/13816810.2014.985845

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Abstract

Background: Genetic eye pathology represents a significant percentage of the causes of blindness in industrialized countries. This study explores the level of understanding and perceptions of genetics and inherited eye diseases and the attitudes to genetic testing and gene therapy. Methods: The study was conducted in two parts. Participant groups included were: undergraduate students of optometry, primary eye care professionals and members of the general public. A preliminary study aimed to understand perceptions and to explore the level of knowledge about genetics in general, eye genetics and gene therapy. A second survey was designed to explore attitudes to genetic testing and gene therapy. Results: The majority of participants (82%) perceived genetics as an important science. However, none of them showed a high level of understanding of genetics and inherited eye diseases. Undergraduate students and primary eye care professionals were better informed about inherited eye diseases than the general public (p = 0.001). The majority (80%) across all three groups had a positive attitude to genetic testing and gene therapy. There was a lack of knowledge about the genetic services available among all groups of participants. Conclusion: This calls for serious thinking about the level of dissemination of information about genetics and inherited eye diseases. It shows a broadly supportive attitude to genomic medicine among the public. Improving public awareness and education in inherited eye diseases can improve the utility of genetic testing and therapy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Optometry and Vision Sciences
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
R Medicine > RE Ophthalmology
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Attitudes, genetics, inherited eye diseases, perceptions, understanding
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
ISSN: 1381-6810
Date of Acceptance: 31 October 2014
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2019 15:21
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/70583

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