142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

How accurately do consumers interpret personal DTC genomic risk results?

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

Debra Boeldt, Ph.D. , Scripps Genomic Medicine, Scripps Translational Science Institute, La Jolla, CA
Lauren Ariniello, B.S.
Eric Topol, M.D.
Cinnamon Bloss, Ph.D.
Introduction: Consumer genomic testing provides genetic risk results for multiple conditions directly to consumers (DTC).  Little is known about the accuracy of consumers’ interpretation of these results, which is an important component in understanding personal health risk. The purpose of this study was to assess participants’ interpretation of their personal genomic risk results.

Methods:  A total of 2037 participants received DTC genomic testing at a subsidized rate and completed baseline and follow-up psychological and behavioral assessments.  As part of the follow-up assessment, participants indicated their most feared disease (of those tested) and their interpretation of the genetic risk result they received for that condition.

Results: The majority of individuals who received a high risk result for their most feared condition described their risk for that condition as being either higher (74%) or equivalent to average (19%).  Similarly, the majority of the low risk group described their risk as being either lower (22%) or equivalent to average (39%).  A greater percentage of those in the high risk group accurately recalled/interpreted their risk as being higher than average (p<.001).

Conclusions: Although most individuals interpret their risk consistent with the genetic risk estimate they received, there was a sizable minority whose interpretation was inconsistent.  Individuals may have been considering other factors in their description of their own risk (e.g., family history) or their recall and/or interpretation may have been inconsistent for other reasons.  Findings provide insight into consumers’ interpretation of their DTC genetic test results.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe consumers’ accuracy in interpreting and understanding personal genetic test results. Discuss the differences in accuracy among consumers that receive a high or low genetic risk estimate.

Keyword(s): Genetics, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Scripps Genomic Medicine. I completed my doctoral training in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on behavior genetics. My current postdoctoral research focuses on the bioethics and psychological impact of personal genomics.
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.