Stakeholder engagement to ensure the sustainability of biobanks: a survey of potential users of biobank services

Corinna Klingler, Magdaléna von Jagwitz-Biegnitz, Ronny Baber, Karl Friedrich Becker, Edgar Dahl, Cornelius Eibner, Jörg Fuchs, Maike K. Groenewold, Mara Lena Hartung, Michael Hummel, Roland Jahns, Romy Kirsten, Verena Kopfnagel, Regina Maushagen, Sara Yasemin Nussbeck, Anne Schoneberg, Theresa Winter, Cornelia Specht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biobanks are important infrastructures facilitating biomedical research. After a decade of rolling out such infrastructures, a shift in attention to the sustainability of biobanks could be observed in recent years. In this regard, an increase in the as yet relatively low utilisation rates of biobanks has been formulated as a goal. Higher utilisation rates can only be achieved if the perspectives of potential users of biobanks—particularly researchers not yet collaborating with biobanks—are adequately considered. To better understand their perspectives, a survey was conducted at ten different research institutions in Germany hosting a centralised biobank. The survey targeted potential users of biobank services, i.e. researchers working with biosamples. It addressed the general demand for biosamples, strategies for biosample acquisition/storage and reasons for/against collaborating with biobanks. In total, 354 researchers filled out the survey. Most interestingly, only a minority of researchers (12%) acquired their biosamples via biobanks. Of the respondents not collaborating with biobanks on sample acquisition, around half were not aware of the (services of the) respective local biobank. Those who actively decided against acquiring biosamples via a biobank provided different reasons. Most commonly, respondents stated that the biosamples required were not available, the costs were too high and information about the available biosamples was not readily accessible. Biobanks can draw many lessons from the results of the survey. Particularly, external communication and outreach should be improved. Additionally, biobanks might have to reassess whether their particular collection strategies are adequately aligned with local researchers’ needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1344-1354
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Human Genetics
Volume30
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

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