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Clin Genet. 2015 Apr;87(4):319-26. doi: 10.1111/cge.12433. Epub 2014 Jun 22.

Patient experiences with gene panels based on exome sequencing in clinical diagnostics: high acceptance and low distress.

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Department of Human Genetics.


The Radboud University Medical Center was among the first to implement two-step exome sequencing in clinical genetic diagnostics. This study is the first to evaluate patient experiences with gene panels based on exome sequencing, using quantified psychological variables: acceptance, psychological distress, expectations of heredity and unsolicited findings. Between August 2011 and July 2012, 177 patients diagnosed with early-onset colorectal/kidney cancer, deafness, blindness or movement disorder consented to diagnostic exome sequencing offered by clinical geneticists. Baseline questionnaires were sent to 141 adults, returned by 111 with median age of 49 [22-79] years and positive family history in 81%. Follow-up included 91 responders at median 4 [2-22] weeks after results from known gene panels per diagnosis group; exome-wide analysis is ongoing. Confirmed or possibly pathogenic mutations were found in 31% with one unsolicited finding (oncogenetic panel). Most patients (92%) were satisfied. There were no significant changes in heredity-specific distress (18% at baseline, 17% at follow-up) and expectations of heredity. Fewer patients expected unsolicited findings at follow-up (29% vs 18%, pā€‰=ā€‰0.01). Satisfaction and distress were equal in those with vs without mutations. In conclusion, most adults accepted and were satisfied with gene panels based on diagnostic exome sequencing, few reporting distress.


distress; exome; gene panels; genetic; next generation; patient experiences; sequencing

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