Adequate knowledge and personal attitudes towards DNA-testing are major determinants of\ud optimal utilization of genetic testing. This study aims to (1) assess the genetic knowledge and\ud attitude towards genetic testing of patients with asthma, diabetes mellitus type II and cardiovascular\ud diseases, (2) determine whether their knowledge or attitude changed since 2002, and\ud (3) investigate the predictive role of knowledge on attitude. Data were collected within the\ud Panel of Patients with Chronic Diseases in 2002 and 2004, resulting in 398 data-pairs. Results\ud show that factual knowledge mainly relates to associations between genes and diseases, less\ud is known on associations between genes, chromosomes, cells and body. The perceived knowledge\ud on DNA-testing has not increased since 2002. The attitude towards genetic testing also\ud appeared to be rather consistent. Less perceived medical genetic knowledge and more perceived\ud social genetic knowledge were found predictive for a more reserved attitude towards\ud genetic testing. In conclusion, advanced developments in the field of genetics are not accompanied\ud by increased knowledge of patients with common multi-factorial diseases. The finding\ud that more perceived social genetic knowledge results in more reluctance can be considered\ud an indicator for the necessity of social debates on genetic testing
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