Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Hum Genet. 1996 Mar;58(3):617-27.

Lack of interest by nonpregnant couples in population-based cystic fibrosis carrier screening.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA.


We used signs and letters to offer free cystic fibrosis (CF) carrier screening to nonpregnant adults in stable relationships who visited numerous clinical and nonclinical sites in Nashville. A total of 179 individuals (<<1% of those eligible) elected to be tested. To understand this observation, we used questionnaires to assess individuals' attitudes about genetic testing in general and about CF carrier screening in particular (n=873). Participants expressed conflicting views about carrier screening. More than 90% of people thought that genetic testing should at least be available. Most respondents said that the views of their partners and physicians were important in their decision making, and most believed that these others favored genetic testing. Yet, more than two-thirds indicated that such factors as insurability, being "at risk," what they would need to learn, abortion, and religious beliefs were important in their decision making, opinions that mitigated against genetic testing. In particular, one-third feared that carriers would lose their health insurance, one-quarter said that they would have been more interested had they been able to provide DNA by buccal swab rather than by finger stick, and less than one-sixth believed that genetic testing was meddling in God's plan. In the face of both the low level of use of free CF carrier screening by nonpregnant couples when it was not offered in person by health-care professionals and the wide variety of concerns demonstrated, we believe that clinicians should not routinely offer carrier screening to nonpregnant individuals who do not have a family history of CF.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk