Awareness and Uptake of Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Among Cancer Cases, Their Relatives, and Controls: The Northwest Cancer Genetics Network

Institute for Public Health Genetics, School of Public Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98115, USA.
Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers (Impact Factor: 1.46). 06/2012; 16(7):744-8. DOI: 10.1089/gtmb.2011.0235
Source: PubMed


To determine if awareness of, interest in, and use of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing is greater in a sample of high-risk individuals (cancer cases and their relatives), compared to controls.
Participants were recruited from the Northwest Cancer Genetics Network. A follow-up survey was mailed to participants to assess DTC genetic testing awareness, interest, and use.
One thousand two hundred sixty-seven participants responded to the survey. Forty-nine percent of respondents were aware of DTC genetic testing. Of those aware, 19% indicated interest in obtaining and <1% reported having used DTC genetic testing. Additional information supplied by respondents who reported use of DTC genetic tests indicated that 55% of these respondents likely engaged in clinical genetic testing, rather than DTC genetic testing.
Awareness of DTC genetic testing was greater in our sample of high-risk individuals than in controls and population-based studies. Although interest in and use of these tests among cases in our sample were equivalent to other population-based studies, interest in testing was higher among relatives and people who self-referred for a registry focused on cancer than among cases and controls. Additionally, our results suggest that there may be some confusion about what constitutes DTC genetic testing.

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