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15.03.2016 | Original Research | Ausgabe 5/2016

Journal of Genetic Counseling 5/2016

Should I Perform Genetic Testing? A Qualitative Look into the Decision Making Considerations of Religious Israeli Undergraduate Students

Journal of Genetic Counseling > Ausgabe 5/2016
Merav Siani, Orit Ben-Zvi Assaraf


The aim of this study is to draw a picture of the concerns that guide the decision making of Israeli religious undergraduate students and the complex considerations they take into account while facing the need to have genetic testing or to attend a genetic counseling session. We examined how the religious affiliation of the students influences their perceptions toward genetics and how these are expressed. Qualitative data were collected from 51 semi-structured interviews with students, in which recurring themes were identified using ‘thematic analysis.’ The codes from the thematic analysis were obtained according to ‘grounded theory’. Our results show that religious undergraduate students’ decision making in these issues is influenced by factors that fall under three main categories: knowledge and perceptions, values, and norms. In order to include all the components of influence, we created the Triple C model: “Culture influences Choices towards genetic Counseling” which aims to generalize the complex decision making considerations that we detected. Our model places religion, as part of culture, as its central point of influence that impacts all three of the main categories we detected. It also traces the bidirectional influences that each of these main categories have on one another. Using this model may help identify the sociocultural differences between different types of patients, helping genetic counselors to better assist them in addressing their genetic status by tailoring the counseling more specifically to the patient’s cultural uniqueness.

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