Das Vertrauen der deutschen Bevölkerung in die Durchführung und Ergebnisverwendung genetischer Untersuchungen: Ergebnisse einer Repräsentativstudie

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Genetic susceptibility testing for hereditary diseases is developing rapidly. In this study, we investigated the level of confidence people have concerning their autonomy in decisions about undergoing genetic testing and their faith in confidential use of test results. In the year 2001, we conducted a survey in a sample representative of the German population (n=2076) and asked individuals to indicate their attitudes towards genetic testing. Subjects were administered a self-report questionnaire which comprised 13 items. The dependent variable is a single-item measure which pertains to faith in autonomous decision-making concerning genetic testing and confidential use of the test results. The results reveal that the majority of the German population expresses confidence in autonomous decision-making and confidentiality. Differences in the level of confidence emerged for subgroups differing in sociodemographic characteristics. Those who are older, have a higher formal education, show no religious affiliation and live in the Eastern part of Germany express more confidence. Furthermore, faith surrounding genetic testing is significantly associated with attitudes towards gene tests (approval, disapproval, and concern for genetic testing). However, the low correlations indicate that even a generally positive attitude towards gene tests has little impact on the faith surrounding genetic testing when the personal relevance of the gene test is stressed.

Translated title of the contribution
Faith surrounding genetic testing. Results of a representative survey in Germany


Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004

External IDs

Scopus 2942718797
ORCID /0000-0002-1491-9195/work/142256047


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Attitudes, General population, Genetic testing, Representative survey