Российский психологический журнал (Sep 2016)

Problems of the Evaluation of Psychological Characteristics of Biobank Donors: Theoretical and Practical Aspects

  • Iurii P. Zinchenko,
  • Andrei L. Ryzhov,
  • Aleksandr S. Tkhostov,
  • Elena V. Bryzgalina

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 3
pp. 140 – 151


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The paper discusses issues of psychological assessment of biobank donors. Biobanks are regarded as a relatively new institution and technology for scientific research in the field of genomics and biomedicine. Studying of molecular-genetic bases of human behavior, mental characteristics, and disorders, as well as developing of a new direction of “personalized medicine” touch upon psychological aspects. The increasing role of information technology makes it possible to carry out distributed research, share results, enables openness and harmonization of projects, as well as leads to the deindividualization of research in the form of working with large data sets. These provisions determine the specificity of Biobanks. The authors established the presence of specific problems in the field of psychological assessment of donors and distinguishing important project characteristics. In most cases, donors undergo the assessment using the specially developed questionnaires of a Biobank. The paper describes the main features and limitations of the existing approaches to the assessment of donors. The factors determining these features included a type and objectives of Biobanks, scientific requirements for research, harmonization and standardization of procedures, economic, and ethical and legal aspects of psychological assessment. The authors emphasized the importance of a systematic approach to assessing psychological characteristics and disorders, their differential description, description of the environmental influences, as well as the design of the study. Creating the model of a phenotypic description of the donor is the result of a compromise between different factors influencing the successful work Biobanks. In this regard, at the stage of its creation the authors suggest to distinguish questions of high priority, which set the framework characteristics of the project, and questions of a second order, which fall within the competence of specialists in different fields.