Stakeholders' Interest and Attitudes toward Genomic Medicine and Pharmacogenomics Implementation in the United Arab Emirates: A Qualitative Study

Azhar T. Rahma, Iffat Elbarazi, Bassam R. Ali, George P. Patrinos, Luai A. Ahmed, Fatima Al-Maskari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim: Mapping the power, interest, and stance of stakeholders is a cornerstone for genomic medicine implementation. In this study, we aimed at mapping the power/interest of various stakeholders in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and exploring their attitudes toward pressing health genomics aspects. The overarching aim of this study is to facilitate the construction of a road map for the full implementation of genomic medicine and pharmacogenomics in the UAE with potential applicability to many healthcare systems around the world. Methods: A qualitative approach using in-depth interview was employed. Heterogeneous stakeholders were identified by experts in the field. The analysis of the data was a hybrid of deductive and inductive approach using NVivo software for coding and analysis. Results: 13 interviews were conducted. Following mapping the Mendelow's matrix, we categorized the stakeholders in UAE to promoter, latent, defender, and apathetic. Most of the interviewed stakeholders emphasized the clinical demand for genomic medicine in UAE. However, many of them were less inclined to articulate the need for pharmacogenomics at the moment. The majority of stakeholders in UAE were in favor of building infrastructure for better genetic services in the country. Stakeholder from an insurance sector had contradicting stance about the cost-effectiveness of genomic medicine; the majority were concerned with the legal and ethical aspects of genomic medicine and had an opposing stance on direct-to-consumer kits. Conclusions: Implementing the Mendelow's model will allow the systematic strategy for implementing genomic medicine in UAE. This can be achieved by engaging the key players (promoters and defenders) as well as engaging and satisfying the latent stakeholder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Health Genomics
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2021


  • Attitude
  • Barriers
  • Genomic medicine
  • Implementation
  • Mendelow's matrix
  • Pharmacogenomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Genetics(clinical)


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