Would you want to know? Public attitudes on early diagnostic testing for Alzheimer's disease
- Elizabeth M WiklerAffiliated withHarvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Email author
- , Robert J BlendonAffiliated withDepartment of Health Policy and Management
- , John M BensonAffiliated withDepartment of Health Policy and Management
Research is underway to develop an early medical test for Alzheimer's disease (AD).
To evaluate potential demand for such a test, we conducted a cross-sectional telephone survey of 2,678 randomly selected adults across the United States and four European countries.
Most surveyed adults (67%) reported that they are "somewhat" or "very likely" to get an early medical test if one becomes available in the future. Interest was higher among those worried about developing AD, those with an immediate blood relative with AD, and those who have served as caregivers for AD patients. Older respondents and those living in Spain and Poland also exhibited greater interest in testing. Knowing AD is a fatal condition did not influence demand for testing, except among those with an immediate blood relative with the disease.
Potential demand for early medical testing for AD could be high. A predictive test could not only advance medical research, it could transform political and legal landscapes by creating a large constituency of asymptomatic, diagnosed adults.
KeywordsAlzheimer's disease medical testing predictive testing medical decision-making public attitudes preclinical
- Would you want to know? Public attitudes on early diagnostic testing for Alzheimer's disease
- Open Access
- Available under Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Alzheimer's Research & Therapy
- Online Date
- September 2013
- Online ISSN
- BioMed Central
- Additional Links
- Alzheimer's disease
- medical testing
- predictive testing
- medical decision-making
- public attitudes
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 14 Story Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA
- 2. Department of Health Policy and Management, 677 Huntington Avenue, Kresge Building, Room 402, Boston, MA, 02115, USA