• By Colette Gallagher

Science Saturday: Mayo study examines how Latino participants experience genomic medicine

May 8, 2021

How do people from minority communities experience genomic medicine in diverse health-care settings? How do they integrate genetic knowledge into their understandings of health-care needs?

These answers are critical to researchers as multiple efforts are underway to increase the inclusion of racial minority participants in genomic research and new forms of individualized medicine.

Richard Sharp. Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Bioethics Program and Joel Pacyna, a senior health services analyst, asked these questions while examining Latino participant experiences of genomic screening. They presented their findings, published in Genetics in Medicine, at the Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting on April 13-16.

In a large, multisite genomic sequencing study, researchers compared Latino patients recruited at Mountain Park Health Center, a federally qualified health center in Phoenix, Arizona, and non-Latino patients recruited at Mayo Clinic. Both groups agreed to receive individualized genomic risk assessments.

"Comparisons between cohorts showed that Latino respondents had lower levels of conflict about pursuing genomic screening," says Dr. Sharp. "Latino respondents were more likely to have concerns about the misuse of genomic information, though, despite both groups having similar views about the value of genomic risk evaluation."

According to Pacyna, first author of the study, the findings shine light on broad differences in the psychosocial impact of genomic screening on differentially advantaged populations.

Read the rest of the article on the Center for Individualized Medicine blog.

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