Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Americans want doctors' guidance on genetic test results

Date:
November 7, 2013
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
In an era of commercialized medicine, direct-to-consumer genetic testing has been on a steady rise. Consumers can purchase a DNA sample kit, also known as a "spit kit," mail it to a testing company, and wait for an email that reveals their genetic risk for disorders like heart disease and colon cancer. However, a new study reveals that members of the public, as well as physician groups, are concerned about individuals interpreting these risks without the help of a doctor.

In an era of commercialized medicine, direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing has been on a steady rise. Consumers can purchase a DNA sample kit, also known as a "spit kit," mail it to a testing company, and wait for an email that reveals their genetic risk for disorders like heart disease and colon cancer. However, a new Yale study reveals that members of the public, as well as physician groups, are concerned about individuals interpreting these risks without the help of a medical professional.

"Medical journals have published many editorials expressing concerns about companies that offer genetic tests directly to consumers," said Yale sociologist Rene Almeling, one of the study's authors. "What we did that was new was to ask members of the public whether they thought this was a good idea."

The results of the study confirm that 65% of Americans agree that clinicians should be involved in explaining DTC genetic test results. The study, co-authored by Almeling and Shana Kushner Gadarian from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, was published Nov. 7 on the website of Genetics in Medicine, the official publication of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

"Genetic risk percentages require interpretation and context," said Almeling. Both the American Medical Association and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics encourage people to undergo genetic testing under the guidance of a qualified health care professional. This allows patients to discuss the risks and benefits of genetic testing, and test results can be interpreted in the context of the individual's other health factors, such as family history and environment.

According to Almeling, this appears to be the first time that researchers have asked the public directly about the issue of clinician involvement in genetic testing. She added that the high level of public support might influence state and federal regulators to require that clinicians be involved in explaining genetic test results.

The study, which was administered by the non-partisan research firm YouGov, surveyed 2,100 respondents about federal spending on genetic research, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act passed in 2008, and DTC genetic testing. The results also revealed that the majority of Americans believe genetic antidiscrimination laws are important and support increased federal spending on genetic research.

"In the ongoing debates over policy issues in genetics, it's important to keep in mind the views of those most affected by such debates," said Almeling. "These results are useful for scientists designing studies, clinicians working with patients, federal agencies setting budget priorities, and legislators designing regulations."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rene Almeling, Shana Kushner Gadarian. Public opinion on policy issues in genetics and genomics. Genetics in Medicine, 2013; DOI: 10.1038/gim.2013.175

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Americans want doctors' guidance on genetic test results." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107094618.htm>.
Yale University. (2013, November 7). Americans want doctors' guidance on genetic test results. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107094618.htm
Yale University. "Americans want doctors' guidance on genetic test results." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107094618.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins