Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: User Motivations, Decision Making, and Perceived Utility of ResultsRoberts J.S.a · Gornick M.C.b · Carere D.A.c · Uhlmann W.R.b, d · Ruffin M.T.e · Green R.C.f
aDepartment of Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and bDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; cDepartment of Pathology & Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; dDepartment of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, eDepartment of Family and Community Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA, and fDepartment of Medicine (Division of Genetics), Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
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Article / Publication Details
Background/Aims: To describe the interests, decision making, and responses of consumers of direct-to-consumer personal genomic testing (DTC-PGT) services. Methods: Prior to 2013 regulatory restrictions on DTC-PGT services, 1,648 consumers from 2 leading companies completed Web surveys before and after receiving test results. Results: Prior to testing, DTC-PGT consumers were as interested in ancestry (74% very interested) and trait information (72%) as they were in disease risks (72%). Among disease risks, heart disease (68% very interested), breast cancer (67%), and Alzheimer disease (66%) were of greatest interest prior to testing. Interest in disease risks was associated with female gender and poorer self-reported health (p < 0.01). Many consumers (38%) did not consider the possibility of unwanted information before purchasing services; this group was more likely to be older, male, and less educated (p < 0.05). After receiving results, 59% of respondents said test information would influence management of their health; 2% reported regret about seeking testing and 1% reported harm from results. Conclusion: DTC-PGT has attracted controversy because of the health-related information it provides, but nonmedical information is of equal or greater interest to consumers. Although many consumers did not fully consider potential risks prior to testing, DTC-PGT was generally perceived as useful in informing future health decisions.
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