Predictors of interest in predictive testing for rheumatoid arthritis among first degree relatives of rheumatoid arthritis patients

Imogen Wells, Dawit Zemedikun, Gwenda Simons, Rebecca Stack, Christian D. Mallen, Karim Raza, M Falahee

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Abstract Objectives There is increasing interest in prediction and prevention of RA. It is important to understand the views of those at risk to inform the development of effective approaches. First-degree relatives (FDRs) of RA patients are at increased risk of RA. This study assessed predictors of their interest in predictive testing for RA. Methods Questionnaires were completed by RA patients (provided with their questionnaire by a healthcare professional) and their FDRs (provided with their questionnaire by their RA proband). FDR surveys assessed interest in taking a predictive test, demographic variables, perceived RA risk, attitudes about predictive testing, autonomy preferences, illness perceptions, avoidance coping and health anxiety. Patient surveys included demographic variables, disease impact, RA duration and treatment. Ordinal logistic regression examined the association between FDRs’ characteristics and their interest in predictive testing. Generalized estimating equations assessed associations between patient characteristics and FDRs’ interest in predictive testing. Results Three hundred and ninety-six FDRs responded. Paired data from the RA proband were available for 292. The proportion of FDRs interested in predictive testing was 91.3%. Information-seeking preferences, beliefs that predictive testing can increase empowerment over health and positive attitudes about risk knowledge were associated with increased interest. Beliefs that predictive testing could cause psychological harm predicted lower interest. Patient characteristics of the proband were not associated with FDRs’ interest. Conclusions FDRs’ interest in predictive testing for RA was high, and factors associated with interest were identified. These findings will inform the development of predictive strategies and informational resources for those at risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberkeab890
Early online date30 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Nov 2021


  • first degree relatives
  • predictive testing
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • risk perception
  • survey


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