Willingness of women to participate in obstetrical and pediatric research involving biobanks

  • Renate D. Savich
  • Beth B Tigges
  • Lisbeth Iglesias Rios
  • Joanne McCloskey
  • Kristine Tollestrup
  • Robert D. AnnettEmail author
Original Article


Use of biobanks for future genetic/genomic testing has increased. Biospecimens are increasingly being collected from infants/children; however, little is known about attitudes towards collection of biospecimens from postpartum women and their child. Using a hypothetical consent, this study investigated willingness to participate and attitudes, beliefs, and concerns related to consent materials requesting the biobanking genetic samples. A cross-sectional mixed methods design included women who reviewed a hypothetical consent related to biobanking genetic samples. Women were asked about their willingness to participate, followed by a focus group about biobanks and genetic/genomic testing. Post-focus group questionnaires assessed willingness to participate, the influence of study characteristics, and attitudes about genetic testing. Women (N = 37) were 29.0± 7.3 years of age (range 19–44); 51% had children and 28% were currently pregnant. A total of 46% were Hispanic (H), 38% were White non-Hispanic (WNH), and 16% were Native American (NA). Seventy-six percent (28/37) initially indicated that they would participate in the hypothetical study. Race and ethnicity impacted whether women would participate. Fewer NA women indicated that they would participate compared with H women and with WNH women (p < 0.02). Age, pregnancy status, having children, education level, insurance status, and income had no impact on participation decision and willingness to biobank specimens. NA and H women indicated that they were less likely than WNH women to agree to participate in a long-term biobank study. Given the importance of determining the genetic influence of health and disease, it is critical to attend to the questions and concerns of minority women regarding genetic studies.


Biobank Informed consent Genetic testing Children 


Funding information

This work was funded from a grant from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center for the first author.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PediatricsUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJacksonUSA
  2. 2.College of NursingUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family and Community MedicineUniversity of New Mexico Health Sciences CenterAlbuquerqueUSA
  5. 5.College of Population HealthUniversity of New Mexico Health Sciences CenterAlbuquerqueUSA

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