Knowledge and attitude regarding pharmacogenetics among formerly pregnant women in the Netherlands and their interest in pharmacogenetic research

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BACKGROUND: Pharmacogenetics is an emerging field currently being implemented to improve safety when prescribing drugs. While many women who take drugs during pregnancy would likely benefit from such personalized drug therapy, data is lacking on the awareness towards pharmacogenetics among women. We aim to determine the level of knowledge and acceptance of formerly pregnant women in the Netherlands regarding pharmacogenetics and its implementation, and their interest in pharmacogenetic research.

METHODS: A population-based survey using postal questionnaires was conducted among formerly pregnant women in the Northern parts of the Netherlands. A total of 986 women were invited to participate.

RESULTS: Of the 219 women who returned completed questionnaires (22.2% response rate), only 22.8% had heard of pharmacogenetics, although the majority understood the concept (64.8%). Women who had experience with drug side-effects were more likely to know about pharmacogenetics [OR = 2.06, 95% CI 1.16, 3.65]. Of the respondents, 53.9% were positive towards implementing pharmacogenetics in their future drug therapy, while 46.6% would be willing to participate in pharmacogenetic research. Among those who were either not willing or undecided in this regard, their concerns were about the consequences of the pharmacogenetic test, including the privacy and anonymity of their genetic information.

CONCLUSION: The knowledge and attitude regarding the concept of pharmacogenetics among our population of interest is good. Also, their interest in pharmacogenetic research provides opportunities for future research related to drug use during pregnancy and fetal outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14-Apr-2017


  • Medications
  • Personalized medicine
  • Pharmacogenetics in pregnancy
  • Pharmacogenetic test
  • Pregnancy
  • DRUG

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