Perceptions of students in health and molecular life sciences regarding pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine

Lejla Mahmutovic, Betul Akcesme, Camil Durakovic, Faruk Berat Akcesme, Aida Maric, Muhamed Adilovic, Nour Hamad, Matthias Wjst, Oliver Feeney, Sabina Semiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: Increasing evidence is demonstrating that a patient's unique genetic profile can be used to detect the disease's onset, prevent its progression, and optimize its treatment. This led to the increased global efforts to implement personalized medicine (PM) and pharmacogenomics (PG) in clinical practice. Here we investigated the perceptions of students from different universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) towards PG/PM as well as related ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI). This descriptive, cross-sectional study is based on the survey of 559 students from the Faculties of Medicine, Pharmacy, Health Studies, Genetics, and Bioengineering and other study programs. Results: Our results showed that 50% of students heard about personal genome testing companies and 69% consider having a genetic test done. A majority of students (57%) agreed that PM represents a promising healthcare model, and 40% of students agreed that their study program is well designed for understanding PG/PM. This latter opinion seems to be particularly influenced by the field of study (7.23, CI 1.99-26.2, p = 0.003). Students with this opinion are also more willing to continue their postgraduate education in the PM (OR = 4.68, CI 2.59-8.47, p < 0.001). Furthermore, 45% of students are aware of different ethical aspects of genetic testing, with most of them (46%) being concerned about the patient's privacy. Conclusions: Our results indicate a positive attitude of biomedical students in Bosnia and Herzegovina towards genetic testing and personalized medicine. Importantly, our results emphasize the key importance of pharmacogenomic education for more efficient translation of precision medicine into clinical practice.

Original languageBritish English
Article number50
JournalHuman Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 26 Jan 2018


  • And social issues
  • Education
  • Ethical
  • Legal
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Precision medicine
  • Survey


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