Introduction: Genetic factors affecting warfarin maintenance dose have been well established, but patient acceptance is a necessary consideration for the successful clinical implementation of warfarin pharmacogenetic testing (WPGT). In this study, we aimed to determine the attitudes toward WPGT among Singaporean Chinese.
Methods: A total of 194 warfarin patients and 187 members of the public completed a structured survey on paper and the Internet, respectively. Attitudes were expressed as willingness to undergo WPGT (single item with 5-point response) and expectations and concerns about WPGT (two multi-item scales). Relationships between attitudes and socio-demographic and clinical variables were explored using Fisher's exact test, Student's t-test, one-way analysis of variance or Pearson's correlation.
Results: Majority of respondents were willing to or neutral about undergoing WPGT. Both patients and public had relatively high expectations (mean [SD]: 3.77 [0.63], and 3.97 [0.55], respectively) and moderately high concerns (mean [SD]: 3.30 [0.69] and 3.33 [0.68], respectively) about WPGT. Willingness to undergo WPGT was associated with gender, educational status, length of warfarin treatment, and number of chronic diseases among warfarin patients, and with history of adverse drug reactions and number of chronic diseases among the public. Higher expectation of WPGT was associated with higher willingness (p < .001 in both populations), while higher concern was associated with lower willingness to undergo WPGT among the public (p = .004) but not among patients (p = .072).
Conclusion: Patient acceptance is not a major barrier to clinical implementation of WPGT but patient education is necessary and the ethical, social, and legal issues should be addressed.