Motivations and Barriers to Participation in a Randomized Trial on Melanoma Genomic Risk: A Mixed-Methods Analysis.

Mercado G, Newson AJ, Espinoza D, The Managing Your Risk Study Group, Cust AE, Smit AK.  Journal of Personalized Medicine. 2022; 12(10):1704.


The evolution of polygenic scores for use in for disease prevention and control compels the development of guidelines to optimize their effectiveness and promote equitable use. Understanding the motivations and barriers to participation in genomics research can assist in drafting these standards. We investigated these in a community-based randomized controlled trial that examined the health behavioral impact of receiving personalized melanoma genomic risk information. We examined participant responses in a baseline questionnaire and conducted interviews post-trial participation. Motivations differed in two ways: (1) by gender, with those identifying as women placing greater importance on learning about their personal risk or familial risk, and how to reduce risk; and (2) by age in relation to learning about personal risk, and fear of developing melanoma. A barrier to participation was distrust in the handling of genomic data. Our findings provide new insights into the motivations for participating in genomics research and highlight the need to better target population subgroups including younger men, which will aid in tailoring recruitment for future genomic studies.