The feasibility of online genetic testing for lung cancer susceptibility: uptake of a web-based protocol and decision outcomes

Genet Med. 2008 Feb;10(2):121-30. doi: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e31815f8e06.


Purpose: To examine the feasibility of offering genetic susceptibility testing for lung cancer (GSTM1) via the Internet to smokers who were blood relatives of patients with lung cancer. Outcomes include proportion who logged on to the study website to consider testing, made informed decisions to log on and to be tested.

Methods: Baseline measures were assessed via telephone survey. Participants could choose to log on to the study website; those who did were offered testing. Informed decisions to log on and to be tested were indicated by concordance between the decision outcome and test-related attitudes and knowledge.

Results: Three hundred four relatives completed baseline interviews. One hundred sixteen eligible relatives expressed further interest in receiving information via the web. Fifty-eight logged on and 44 tested. Those logging on expressed greater quit motivation, awareness of cancer genetic testing, and were more likely to be daily Internet users than those who did not log on. Approximately half of the sample made informed decisions to log on and to be tested.

Conclusion: Interest in a web-based protocol for genetic susceptibility testing was high. Internet-delivered decision support was as likely as other modalities to yield informed decisions. Some subgroups may need additional support to improve their decision outcomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Online Systems*


  • Glutathione Transferase
  • glutathione S-transferase M1