Patient experience and utility of genetic information: a cross-sectional study among patients tested for cancer susceptibility and thrombophilia

Eur J Hum Genet. 2018 Apr;26(4):518-526. doi: 10.1038/s41431-017-0083-1. Epub 2018 Jan 26.


We evaluated whether genetic tests with evidence of clinical and personal utility (i.e. APC and BRCA1/2 tests) are associated with higher satisfaction and a more positive perception of care experience than those with undefined utility (i.e. tests for thrombophilia). A cross-sectional survey was performed through telephone interviews to patients tested for deleterious variants in APC or BRCA1/2 genes, or for inherited thrombophilia (FV Leiden and/or FIIG20210A) during a 5-year period (2008-2012). Three aspects of patient experience were assessed: effective communication through pre- and post-test genetic counselling; collaboration between caregivers on the management of patient care; and impact of genetic testing on quality of life. Overall 237 patients had telephone interviews. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that patients tested for APC or BRCA1/2 variants were more likely to be satisfied with both pre- and post-test counselling than those tested for inherited thrombophilia (APC vs. thrombophilia, p = 0.039 and 0.005; BRCA1/2 vs. thrombophilia, p = 0.030 and <0.001). Patients tested for APC were more likely to report an improvement in quality of life than those for thrombophilia (OR = 2.97, 95%CI 1.14, 7.72; p = 0.025). A positive association was observed between patients who underwent BRCA1/2 testing, and self-perceived improvement in quality of life (OR = 1.41, 95%CI 0.74, 2.69; p = 0.294). Tests of undefined clinical and personal utility are associated with a lower degree of patient satisfaction with genetic counselling and no clear opinions on changes in quality of life compared with those with well-defined utility.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling / methods
  • Genetic Counseling / psychology*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Patients / psychology
  • Thrombophilia / genetics
  • Thrombophilia / psychology*