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Genetic Literacy and Participation in Genetic Research Among Pacific Islanders Living in the US and US-Affiliated Pacific Islands

Church, Katherine (2023) Genetic Literacy and Participation in Genetic Research Among Pacific Islanders Living in the US and US-Affiliated Pacific Islands. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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The Pacific Islander population has high levels of non-communicable disease. While genetic research has been ongoing among some sub-groups in this population for many years, the genetic literacy of this population has not been the subject of many studies. The history of unethical treatment of indigenous populations in genetic research makes it imperative to ensure that all current and future research efforts involve the Pacific Islander population in a meaningful way. The first step in this process is to assess the genetic knowledge of the Pacific Islander population to verify understanding of the genetic research that is ongoing. Additionally, comprehension of attitudes towards, motivations for, and concerns about participation in genetic research will aid in identifying community opinion towards genetic research and what gaps in knowledge need to be addressed.
Using preliminary survey data from the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (ELSI) project in the Pacific Islands, genetic knowledge of a sample of Pacific Islanders across the US and US-affiliated Pacific Islands was assessed, in addition to attitudes towards, motivations for, and concerns about participation in genetic research. Demographic information was also collected. Scores were calculated for genetic knowledge, attitudes, motivations, and concerns by assigning points to each response, tallying the responses, and dividing by the total number of points possible per question. Linear regressions were then conducted to examine the relationship between these and other factors.
A significant positive relationship was found between annual household income and genetic knowledge, as well as between motivations for participation in genetic research and concerns about participation in genetic research. No significant relationship was found between genetic knowledge and either attitudes towards, motivations for, or concerns about participation in genetic research, nor was a significant relationship found between attitudes towards genetic research and motivations for or concerns about participation in genetic research. These relationships were discussed with equity and inclusion in mind. The subject of genetic literacy and inclusion in genetic research for indigenous populations is a significant public health concern, and as such further study on this topic is crucial to ensuring ethical conduct in genetic research with the Pacific Islander community.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Church, Katherinekmc263@pitt.edukmc263
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDurst, Andreaadurst@pitt.eduadurst0000-0002-4338-5823
Committee MemberMinster, Ryanrminster@pitt.edurminster0000-0001-7382-6717
Committee MemberFelter, Elizabethemfelter@pitt.eduemfelter0000-0002-0567-0623
Committee MemberHawley, Nicolanicola.hawley@yale.eduUNSPECIFIED0000-0002-2601-3454
Date: 4 January 2023
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 88
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Human Genetics
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pacific Islander, Samoan, Genetic Literacy, Health Literacy, Genetic research
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2023 14:54
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2023 14:54


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