• Queen Mary University of London
  • Barts Health NHS
  • Bradford NHS
  • Manchester Uni

S00052: Improving genetics communication

Researcher: Shwetha Ramachandrappa

Institution: Kings College London

Our genetic code is found as DNA.  Defined regions of the DNA sequence provide the body with specific instructions on how to do lots of different jobs in our cells.  All of us have a slightly different genetic code and these genetic differences can influence our health and wellbeing.  Genetic testing can be useful tool in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease.  It has previously been observed that individuals from the South Asian community are less likely to access genetic testing than the general population.  Poor levels of genetic understanding have been cited as a barrier to engagement with genetic services within this community, however, this has not been studied in a systematic way.


Here, we develop an online questionnaire to capture the understanding of basic genetic concepts, ideas around disease causality, and attitudes towards genetic testing.  The tool will be developed with the South Asian population in mind, but can be used more widely.  This will enable us to measure genetic literacy among the South Asian population and to understand the factors which may influence somebody’s level of genetic literacy.  It can also be used to develop educational resources in this area.