Background: The objective of this study was to measure subject perspective and reaction to participation in the Personalized Medicine Research Project (PMRP) and to identify factors predicting understanding of the study elements. Method: Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to 1,593 subjects (10% sample). The questionnaire had three sections: section A consisted of 21 factual questions; section B consisted of 14 questions to assess the level of understanding about the PMRP concepts, and section C asked about the purpose of the PMRP. Results: The mean age of the 924 survey respondents was 52 years (SD = 16.9), with a range of 18–95 years. The majority of participants were female (n = 561, 61%). The percent of total correct responses for section A was significantly higher for females compared with males (males: 58.4% and females: 60.4%, t test = –2.18, p = 0.03) and age was significantly inversely related to percent of correct responses (β coefficient = –0.122, p < 0.001). More than one third of the participants indicated that the USD 20 greatly influenced their decision to participate in the project. In a multiple logistic regression model, people living outside of Marshfield were significantly more likely to indicate that the USD 20 greatly influenced their decision to participate (odds ratio = 1.40, 95% confidence limit = 1.06, 1.86) and age was inversely related to the monetary influence on decision to participate (odds ratio = 0.98, 95% confidence limit = 0.97, 0.98). Conclusion: Future community consultation efforts should highlight areas of lower understanding. In addition, research coordinators may need to take more time informing males and older individuals about project details so that they are making truly informed decisions about study participation.

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