The impact of unsolicited findings in clinical exome sequencing, a qualitative interview study
SourceEuropean Journal of Human Genetics, 29, 6, (2021), pp. 930-939
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Human Genetics
SubjectRadboudumc 12: Sensory disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Unsolicited findings (UFs) in clinical exome sequencing are variants that are unrelated to the initial clinical question the DNA test was performed for, but that may nonetheless be of medical relevance to patients and/or their families. There is limited knowledge about the impact of UFs on patients' lives. In order to characterise patient perceptions of the impact of an UF, we conducted 20 semi-structured face-to-face interviews with patients and/or their relatives to whom an UF predisposing to oncological disease (n = 10) or predisposing to a cardiac condition (n = 10) had been disclosed. We have identified a psychological, physical and financial aspect of the perceived impact of UF disclosure in exome sequencing. Actionability, understanding, patients' pre-test health and social context were influencing factors, according to our participants. Although most expressed considerable psychological impact initially, all but one participant would choose to undergo genetic testing again, knowing what they know now. These novel findings provide insight in patients' perspectives on the impact of UF disclosure. Our study highlights the value of incorporating patients' perceptions in UF disclosure policy.
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