Media Coverage and Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Genetic Tests


Family history and genetic discoveries currently saturate the media. In addition, funding opportunities are increasingly offered to translate new genomic discoveries into the clinics or to test the integration of family history collection as a first step towards genetic testing in order to meet the NIH Roadmap for the 4P’s (Predictive, Personalized, Preemptive, and Participatory Medicine). Health Plans are in critical need of reliable information and education to help providers and patients understand the uses and implications of genetic tests as more become available and marketed directly to these end-users.

This exploratory study will begin to address these needs at Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) and will provide crucial background data that can be leveraged by the Cancer Research Network (CRN) Family History SIG in the development of RO1 applications to respond quickly to upcoming funding opportunities.

##Specific aims

1. To conduct a media analysis to determine number, polarity (positive or negative), and target audience of information about genetic tests and family history collection presented in the media over a one-year time period.

2. To conduct focus groups with KPCO members, primary care, and specialty care providers, to elicit their knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about the specific genetic tests identified in Aim 1, and the use of family history information as a tool to assess disease risk.

3. With the CRN Family History SIG, leverage the data from Aims 1 and 2 to develop and submit a multi-site RO1 no later than January 2010.


Through this exploratory work, the foundation will be built for additional research collaborations within the CRN and the Family History SIG to further study the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about genetic testing and family history across multiple institutions and settings. This study will also address the immediate need for pilot data necessary for intervention studies that are crucial to thoughtfully train and educate patients and providers to make informed decisions about the utility and promise of family history and genomic medicine across those sites. This study will illuminate what is communicated to the public through media about the use of genetic testing and family history for genetic risk, and will provide a qualitative baseline level of the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of patients and providers. This information will form the foundation for additional studies on decision-making, dissemination, and translation of genomic tests that are rapidly entering the healthcare environment.

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