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Attitudes towards psychiatric genetic testing and research - [German]


Duration:

Jan 2000 - Jan 2002

Funding body:

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

Contact:

Illes, Franciska

Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie der Universität Bonn

Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25

53105 Bonn

Germany

Phone: +49-(0)228 287-6966 Fax: +49-(0)228 287-4471

E-Mail: f.illes@uni-bonn.de
URL: http://www.meb.uni-bonn.de/psychiatrie/klin_epi_gen/

Head:

Rietschel, Marcella (Prof. Dr.)

Maier, Wolfgang (Prof. Dr.)

Rudinger, Georg (Prof. Dr.)

Angermeyer, Matthias C. (Prof. Dr.)

Member:

Illes, Franciska (Dipl.-Psych.)

Rietz, Christian (Dr.)

Matschinger, Herbert (Dr.)

Short Description:

With the advent of molecular biology, genes predisposing to schizophrenia and affective disorder will be identified in the near future. This will allow for presymptomatic and prenatal testing in persons at risk as well as in the general population. Precise testing is already possible for several specific monogenic disorders. In complex diseases like psychiatric disorders, however, the situation is different: Identification of vulnerability genes will neither allow to predict the course of the disorder nor to foresee if the tested individual will develop the disease at all. Serious ethical considerations are involved with such options. While scientific knowledge increases, little is known about the successful transfer of this knowledge to future consumers, nor about their attitudes towards psychiatric genetic research.

In the framework of the German Human Genome Project we are conducting a survey to assess the knowledge, attitudes and fears towards psychiatric genetics in the public through a representative national survey. Furthermore, we want to identify factors influencing those attitudes by comparing specific core-groups: affected persons, their relatives, care-providers (nurses, doctors), opinion leaders (teachers, journalists).

Keywords

biotechnology – disease – ethics of science – eugenics / enhancement – genetic research / engineering – genetic testing / counseling – human genetics – medical ethics – psychiatry – psychology

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