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Genet Med. 2011 Apr;13(4):325-32. doi: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e3182011636.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: an assessment of genetic counselors' knowledge and beliefs.

Author information

1
Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Wayne State University Physician's Group, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. khock@med.wayne.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is a new means of obtaining genetic testing outside of a traditional clinical setting. This study assesses genetic counselors' experience, knowledge, and beliefs regarding direct-to-consumer genetic testing for tests that would currently be offered in genetics clinics.

METHODS:

Members of the National Society of Genetic Counselors completed a web-administered survey in February 2008.

RESULTS:

Response rate was 36%; the final data analysis included 312 respondents. Eighty-three percent of respondents had two or fewer inquiries about direct-to-consumer genetic testing, and 14% had received requests for test interpretation or discussion. Respondents believed that genetic counselors have a professional obligation to be knowledgeable about direct-to-consumer genetic testing (55%) and interpret results (48%). Fifty-one percent of respondents thought genetic testing should be limited to a clinical setting; 56% agreed direct-to-consumer genetic testing is acceptable if genetic counseling is provided. More than 70% of respondents would definitely or possibly consider direct-to-consumer testing for patients who (1) have concerns about genetic discrimination, (2) want anonymous testing, or (3) have geographic constraints.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results indicate that genetic counselors have limited patient experiences with direct-to-consumer genetic testing and are cautiously considering if and under what circumstances this approach should be used.

PMID:
21233722
PMCID:
PMC3804135
DOI:
10.1097/GIM.0b013e3182011636
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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