Intentions to share exome sequencing results with family members: exploring spousal beliefs and attitudes

Eur J Hum Genet. 2018 May;26(5):735-739. doi: 10.1038/s41431-018-0118-2. Epub 2018 Feb 23.


Given familial implications of genetic information, it is important to understand intentions to share carrier results with family members. To our knowledge, no studies among individuals undergoing exome sequencing have used dyadic data analysis to examine the effect of spousal perceptions and beliefs. Survey responses from 136 individuals (68 couples) undergoing exome sequencing in a research study were analyzed using dyadic analysis (the actor-partner interdependence model). Intention to share carrier results with family members was correlated between spouses (ICC = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.21-0.61; p = 0.004), as was worry about risk of a genetic condition in the family (ICC = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.24-0.62; p < 0.001). Perceived value of result and worry about risk of a genetic condition in the family were associated with one's own intentions to share carrier results. However, spousal status on these variables did not explain additional variance in an individual's intentions. Although we found no partner effects on intentions, spouses have comparable intentions to share carrier results, suggesting it may be important to account for non-independence in other research studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Exome / genetics*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Genetic Carrier Screening / methods*
  • Heterozygote*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*
  • Spouses
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States