Attitudes towards psychiatric genetics in the general population

F. Illes, G. Rudinger, M. Angermeyer, T. G. Schulze, D. J. Müller, S. Ohlraun, M. Gross, I. Vauer, M. Nöthen, W. Maier, M. Rietschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


With the advent of molecular biology, genes predisposing to schizophrenia and affective disorder will be identified in the near future. This will allow for presymptomatic and prenatal testing in persons at risk, as well as in general population. Precise testing is already possible for several specific monogenic disorders. In complex diseases like psychiatric disorders, however, the situation is different: Identification of vulnerability genes will neither allow to predict the course of the disorder nor to foresee if the tested individual will develop the disease at all. Serious ethical considerations are involved with such options. While scientific knowledge increases, little is known about the successful transfer of this knowledge to future consumers, nor about their attitudes towards psychiatric genetic research. In the framework of the German Human Genome Project we are conducting a survey to assess the knowledge, attitudes and fears towards psychiatric genetics in the public through a representative national survey. Furthermore, we want to identify factors influencing those attitudes by comparing specific core-groups: affected persons, their relatives, care-providers (nurses, doctors), opinion leaders (teachers, journalists).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542
Number of pages1
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 7 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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