Objectives: In preparation for the development of an educational intervention on Alzheimer disease (AD) genetics, we undertook a pilot survey of knowledge in this area and attitudes toward genetic testing for AD among individuals with a family history of AD. Methods: For the pilot study, we administered a 30-min questionnaire to 57 unaffected individuals from a genetic linkage study. For the focus groups, we interviewed two groups of subjects, ages 44-70 years, with a family history of AD, one of 10 Caucasians and the other of 6 African-Americans. Results: The pilot study showed that there was limited knowledge of genetics overall and AD genetics in particular, considerable concern about personal risk, and little knowledge of or interest in genetic testing for the disease. The focus groups reinforced and fleshed out these impressions and highlighted the importance of caregiving experience in the attitudes toward personal risk for AD. Conclusions: These results underscore the value of genetics education for this and other complex diseases and suggest specific foci for educational interventions.
- Genetic education
- Genetic risk factors, Alzheimer
- Genetic testing
ASJC Scopus subject areas