|IJMDC. 2023; 7(5): 784-790
The knowledge and attitude of Saudi adults visiting a primary care clinic in King Khalid University Hospital toward genetic cancer screening
Ahmed Mujamammi, Essa Sabi, Abdulaziz Ibrahim Aldrgam, Faisal Fahad Alsaif, Abduljabbar Alyamani, Fahad Alfaiz, Mohammed BinMayouf, Abduelah Aldossari.
Background: Genetic testing has become an invaluable tool for the fight against cancer. Yet the general population of Saudi Arabia shows a lack of awareness and utilization of this tool. This study aimed at assessing the knowledge, attitudes, and practice of the Saudi population toward genetic cancer screening.
Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh. Participants were asked complete a self-administered survey to assess their knowledge, attitudes, and practice.
Results: Of the 217 individuals surveyed, relatively few had heard of genetic screening for cancer (16.1%) and even fewer had known what genetic cancer screening was (6.9%). Almost all participants had never been genetically tested before (90.3%). About 82.9% of participants would want to know their results if they were genetically tested and 60.3% were likely to share their results with family members even if they were indicated to have a low risk of cancer. Lifestyle changes were highly likely (84.3%) if participants had tested positive for cancer and general perception of medical advancements was positive (70.5%). Some of the perceived barriers toward genetic cancer screening were: lack of awareness of availability (68.2%), lack of knowledge of nearby clinics (67.8%), results of the test (53.4%), and fear of the effect on family (51.6%).
Conclusion: The general Saudi population demonstrated poor levels of knowledge of genetic testing and a lack of awareness that such a tool exists. Genetic Cancer Screening educational campaigns could be useful in increasing knowledge among the population and reducing the perceived barriers to testing.
Key words: Saudi Arabia, practice, attitude, genetic testing, knowledge.