Knowledge, attitudes, and barriers to carrier screening for the Ashkenazi Jewish panel: A Florida experience

Jessica R.L. Warsch, Sean Warsch, Elizabeth Herman, Lauren Zakarin, Adele Schneider, Jodi Hoffman, Deborah Wasserman, Deborah Barbouth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The knowledge, attitudes, and barriers to Jewish genetic diseases (JGDs) and screening and their relative importance in reproductive decision-making were assessed in a population-based sample of Ashkenazi Jewish young adults in Florida. These adults attended educational screening fairs hosted by The Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases at the University of Miami. Parametric and nonparametric tests were used as appropriate to analyze data from a single group pretest/posttest design. Four hundred twelve individuals (mean age=24.9; 54.7% female, 45.3% male) completed the questionnaires. Participants' level of knowledge increased from pre- to post-intervention (81.4 vs. 91.0%; p<0.0001). Concern about the possibility of being a carrier of a JGD was significantly higher after an educational session (5-point Likert scale mean difference=0.45; p<0.0001), as was their level of concern regarding having an affected child (mean difference=0.20; p<0.0001). The number of participants who agreed or strongly agreed that the test results would not have any influence on their reproductive behavior was lower after the session (17.2 vs. 20.8%; p<0.0001). This study demonstrates that an educational carrier screening program increased knowledge and elucidated awareness of the attitudes and barriers toward JGDs and carrier screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-231
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Carrier screening
  • Genetic education and autosomal recessive
  • Jewish genetic diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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