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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 372-379

Knowledge of genetic eye diseases and genetic services and attitudes toward genetic testing and gene therapy


1 Department of Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pratyusha Ganne
Department of Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalagiri, Guntur . 522 503, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/tjo.tjo_34_21

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PURPOSE: Genetic eye diseases are among the top ten causes of ocular health burden. Asia accounts for nearly two-thirds of the global burden of genetic eye diseases. A great deal of resources is being invested in genetic research and development of genetic services including gene testing laboratories and genetic counseling in India. These efforts will be meaningful only if the public and clinicians are aware of their existence. This study aimed to understand the level of knowledge about genetic eye diseases and genetic services and attitudes toward genetic testing and gene therapy in four groups of participants (undergraduate medical students, paramedical staff, non-ophthalmologist doctors, and the general public). MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional survey in India. Four hundred questionnaires were analyzed from the four groups of participants. Knowledge score was calculated for the different questions. To bring out the differences across the groups, Chi-square test was done with a post hoc Mann–Whitney U-test and Kruskal–Wallis test. P < 0.05 was taken as statistically significant. RESULTS: The level of awareness about genetic eye diseases was better among undergraduate students, doctors, and paramedical staff compared to the general public (P < 0.001). The majority across all three groups had a positive attitude toward genetic testing and gene therapy. However, most of the participants across all groups were not aware of the genetic facilities available in our country. CONCLUSION: This study shows a positive attitude toward genetic medicine. However, there is a need to improve public awareness about genetic eye diseases and facilities available for genetic testing and gene therapy.


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