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Public Health Genomics. 2012;15(3-4):146-55. doi: 10.1159/000336565. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Michigan BioTrust for Health: public support for using residual dried blood spot samples for health research.

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  • 1Michigan Department of Community Health, 201 Townsend Street, Lansing, MI 48909, USA.



Focus groups were utilized as a mechanism to solicit input from the public in developing the Michigan BioTrust for Health, a program of the Michigan Department of Community Health to improve storage conditions and promote use of residual newborn screening dried blood spots in health research.


In 2008-2009, 10 diverse communities representative of the general public that might have special concerns as stakeholders in the BioTrust were identified, and 4 discussion questions were developed for use with a standard agenda. Focus group discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed by department staff. Qualitative conclusions resulting from the group discussions were compared with written, quantitative pre- and post-survey responses completed by individual participants.


Overall, there was considerable concurrence of opinion across the focus groups. Participants were generally positive about the BioTrust; a sentiment that held true across different demographic populations with over 85% of participants stating they would support use of residual dried blood spots in health research.


The focus group process and findings played an important role for public health policy makers in affirming the importance of engaging and informing the public and led to concrete steps to foster community support.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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