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Public Health Genomics. 2015;18(4):216-24. doi: 10.1159/000431250. Epub 2015 Jun 16.

How Well Do Customers of Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomic Testing Services Comprehend Genetic Test Results? Findings from the Impact of Personal Genomics Study.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., USA.

Abstract

AIM:

To assess customer comprehension of health-related personal genomic testing (PGT) results.

METHODS:

We presented sample reports of genetic results and examined responses to comprehension questions in 1,030 PGT customers (mean age: 46.7 years; 59.9% female; 79.0% college graduates; 14.9% non-White; 4.7% of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity). Sample reports presented a genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes, carrier screening summary results for >30 conditions, results for phenylketonuria and cystic fibrosis, and drug response results for a statin drug. Logistic regression was used to identify correlates of participant comprehension.

RESULTS:

Participants exhibited high overall comprehension (mean score: 79.1% correct). The highest comprehension (range: 81.1-97.4% correct) was observed in the statin drug response and carrier screening summary results, and lower comprehension (range: 63.6-74.8% correct) on specific carrier screening results. Higher levels of numeracy, genetic knowledge, and education were significantly associated with greater comprehension. Older age (≥ 60 years) was associated with lower comprehension scores.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most customers accurately interpreted the health implications of PGT results; however, comprehension varied by demographic characteristics, numeracy and genetic knowledge, and types and format of the genetic information presented. Results suggest a need to tailor the presentation of PGT results by test type and customer characteristics.

PMID:
26087778
PMCID:
PMC4926310
DOI:
10.1159/000431250
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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