Online Program

No easy explanation for divergent attitudes regarding the medical utility of consumer genetic testing: Findings from the pgen study

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Deanna Alexis Carere, MA, MS, CGC, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Peter Kraft, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Tanya Moreno, PhD, Pathway Genomics
Joanna Mountain, PhD, 23andMe, Inc
J. Scott Roberts, PhD, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, MI
Robert C. Green, MD, MPH, Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
In the Impact of Personal Genomics (PGen) longitudinal study, we are collaborating with two consumer genetics companies to survey customers prior to receiving their genetic testing results (baseline), 2-3 weeks post-results, and 6 months post-results. Individual genetic testing results for each participant are also being analyzed. Here we present an analysis of customers' perceptions regarding the medical utility of their results. Among 1,075 PGen participants who responded to the 2-3 week survey, 58% endorsed the statement “What I learned from my [testing] can help reduce my chances of getting sick,” while 42% were neutral or disagreed with this statement. We hypothesized that demographic characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, income, education) and baseline health behaviors (vitamin use; fruit and vegetable intake; frequency of vigorous, light, and strength exercise; number of annual health care visits; reported role in health care decision-making; self-reported health status) would explain this divergence. Using logistic regression to evaluate the associations between endorsement of this statement and each of the variables of interest, we found that none of these variables were significant predictors of endorsement. These results suggest that demographic characteristics and baseline health behaviors do not explain the variability observed in consumer perceptions of results utility, and that other predictors must be investigated. Additional analyses will be presented that consider participants' individual genetic testing results, family medical history and health status, and genetic literacy and results comprehension.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe perceptions of the medical utility of genetic testing within a longitudinal cohort of personalized genetics consumers. Identify factors that explain the variability observed in consumer perceptions of medical utility.

Keyword(s): Genetics, Patient Perspective

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a certified genetic counselor and second-year doctoral student in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, specializing in genetic epidemiology. The core of my doctoral research is focused on data from the NIH-funded Impact of Personal Genomics (PGen) Study, and I have been involved in the design, implementation, and analysis phases of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.