EPMA Journal

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 103–112 | Cite as

Implementation of personalized medicine in Central-Eastern Europe: pitfalls and potentials based on citizen’s attitude

  • Peter Balicza
  • Andras Terebessy
  • Zoltan Grosz
  • Noemi Agnes Varga
  • Aniko Gal
  • Balint Andras Fekete
  • Maria Judit Molnar



Next-generation sequencing is increasingly utilized worldwide as a research and diagnostic tool and is anticipated to be implemented into everyday clinical practice. Since Central-Eastern European attitude toward genetic testing, especially broad genetic testing, is not well known, we performed a survey on this issue among Hungarian participants.


A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among patients and patient relatives at our neurogenetic outpatient clinic. Members of the general population were also recruited via public media. We used chi-square testing and binary logistic regression to examine factors influencing attitude.


We identified a mixed attitude toward genetic testing. Access to physician consultation positively influenced attitude. A higher self-determined genetic familiarity score associated with higher perceived genetic influence score, which in turn associated with greater willingness to participate in genetic testing. Medical professionals constituted a skeptical group.


We think that given the controversies and complexities of the next-generation sequencing field, the optimal clinical translation of NGS data should be performed in institutions which have the unique capability to provide interprofessional health education, transformative biomedical research, and crucial patient care. With optimization of the clinical translational process, improvement of genetic literacy may increase patient engagement and empowerment.

Relevance of the article for predictive, preventive, and personalized medicine

The paper highlights that in countries with relatively low-genetic literacy, a special strategy is needed to enhance the implementation of personalized medicine.


Next-generation sequencing Hungary Survey Counseling Ethic Predictive genetic tests Predictive preventive personalized medicine Direct to consumer genetic tests Genetic literacy 



We thank the participating patients, patient’s relatives, students, and colleagues who filled out this survey. We thank Petra Kerekes and Lisa Hubers for language corrections. This study was supported by the project KTIA_13_NAP-A-III/6.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© European Association for Predictive, Preventive and Personalised Medicine (EPMA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Balicza
    • 1
  • Andras Terebessy
    • 2
  • Zoltan Grosz
    • 1
  • Noemi Agnes Varga
    • 1
  • Aniko Gal
    • 1
  • Balint Andras Fekete
    • 1
  • Maria Judit Molnar
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Genomic Medicine and Rare DisordersSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Department of Public HealthSemmelweis UniversityBudapestHungary

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