Open Access

Finnish people's attitudes towards biomedical research and its sponsorship

  • Elina Hemminki1Email author,
  • Aaro Tupasela1,
  • Piia Jallinoja1,
  • Arja R Aro1,
  • Karoliina Snell1 and
  • Sinikka Sihvo1
Genomics, Society and Policy20095:67

DOI: 10.1186/1746-5354-5-2-67

Published: 15 August 2009


The purpose of the research was to study Finnish people's attitudes towards biomedical research and whether the research sponsor makes a difference to those attitudes. A survey questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 25-64 years old. Respondents had a positive attitude towards biomedical research and there were only small variations by population group. When asked whether one's own clinical blood samples could be used in scientific biomedical research, 84 per cent of the respondents would allow it. The most important reasons for giving routinely collected samples to a biobank were altruistic. Attitudes were strongly dependent on the sponsor of the research. Domestic research was looked at more positively than international research. Whether research was made by a public or private actor had less impact. The results suggest that people want to be research participants to help such research of their own free will, and to choose whom they help. This has an impact on the way participants are informed, on the criteria used by ethics committees and other research regulators, and also on transparency and access to research results.