June 20, 2007 - The Center has received nearly half a million dollars to assess the attitudes toward genetic research and genomic medicine of veterans who receive their health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The project is funded through an inter-agency agreement between the VA and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at NIH, and is an extension of NHGRI's current public consultation about the role of gene-environment interactions in health.
The VA is one of the largest health care systems in the United States. It provides care to over 5.3 million patients, has an integrated electronic medical record system, and conducts research projects aimed at improving health care for veterans. In 2006 the VA launched a Genomic Medicine Initiative to examine the potential of emerging genomic technologies to “optimize medical care of veterans and to enhance the development of tests and treatments for diseases particularly relevant to veterans.”
As a first step in this process, the VA’s 12-member Genomic Medicine Program Advisory Committee recommended that the department assess veterans’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about genomic medicine and participation in genomic research. The department has asked the Center to engage veterans who receive their health care through the VA. During this one-year project, the Center will explore issues through focus groups with members of Veterans Service Organizations, as well as with veterans receiving care at several VA medical centers, community-based outpatient clinics, or readjustment counseling centers. The findings obtained from these focus groups will then be tested through a survey of veterans.
This study, together with the Center’s current project on assessing public attitudes about a proposed large-scale genes and environment study, will provide the most comprehensive data to date regarding public attitudes about participating in such studies.
<< Back to News Releases