Title

Attitudes of Ghanaian women toward genetic testing for sickle cell trait

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2011

Journal

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Volume

115

Issue

3

DOI

10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.08.004

Keywords

Genetic testing; Ghana; Sickle cell trait

Abstract

Objective: To explore the attitudes of Ghanaian women toward genetic testing for the sickle cell trait and to investigate key factors that promote or impede the decision to pursue knowledge of the carrier status. Methods: A survey, administered in person to Ghanaian women, collected demographic information and information on the participants' knowledge about their carrier status, their attitudes toward genetic testing, and their perceptions of the implications of being a carrier. The results for women who had previously undergone testing and those who had not were compared. Results: Of 124 participants, 75 had been tested for the sickle cell trait and 49 had not. Some 53% of the women who had been tested did not know their carrier status. Most women agreed that getting a prenatal genetic test was important. However, nontested women were more likely to lack the financial resources to undergo testing, to think that testing is futile because sickle cell disease is not curable, and to believe that the outcome of their child's health is determined by God. Conclusion: The women tended to have favorable attitudes toward genetic testing, but numerous barriers remained that precluded knowledge of their carrier status or the pursuit of this knowledge. © 2011 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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