'Not taken in by media hype': how potential donors, recipients and members of the general public perceive stem cell research

V L Peddie, M Porter, C Counsell, L Caie, D Pearson, S Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Views of embryo donors, scientists and members of the general public on embryonic stem cell research (eSCR) have been widely reported. Less is known about views of potential beneficiaries of stem cell therapy and the influence of media 'hype' on perceptions of eSCR among different groups of stakeholders. This study aimed to examine the perceptions of members of the general public as well as two patient groups likely to benefit from eSCR and to explore the role of the media in shaping these views.
A qualitative study carried out in Aberdeen, Scotland included 15 people living with Parkinson's disease (PD), 15 people living with diabetes mellitus (DM), 15 couples with infertility and 21 members of the general public who volunteered for the study. Interview transcripts were analysed thematically using grounded theory.

The two patient groups likely to benefit from eSCR in the future differed in their knowledge (mainly gained from the media) and understanding of eSCR. Those living with PD were older, more debilitated and better informed than those with DM who showed limited interest in potential future benefits of eSCR. Infertile couples learnt about eSCR from health professionals who explained the process of embryo donation to them, and had sought no further information. Most of the general public had accessed information on eSCR and believed themselves to be more discerning than others because of their objectivity, intelligence and 'scientific awareness'. Although, the media and internet were primary sources of information for all except couples with infertility, members of all four groups claimed not to be taken in by the media 'hype' surrounding eSCR.

Those who expected to benefit from eSCR in the future as well as members of the general public differ in their susceptibility to media 'hype', while believing that they are not taken in by exaggerated claims of benefits. As respondents were a selected group who were not drawn from a representative sample, the findings cannot be generalized to a wider population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1106-1113
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume24
Issue number5
Early online date24 Jan 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

Keywords

  • stem cell research
  • qualitative study
  • perceptions
  • information seeking
  • media influence

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of ''Not taken in by media hype': how potential donors, recipients and members of the general public perceive stem cell research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this