Perceived Utility of Genomic Sequencing: Qualitative Analysis and Synthesis of a Conceptual Model to Inform Patient-Centered Instrument Development

Patient. 2022 May;15(3):317-328. doi: 10.1007/s40271-021-00558-4. Epub 2021 Oct 18.


Background and objectives: Successful clinical integration of genomic sequencing (GS) requires evidence of its utility. While GS potentially has benefits (utilities) or harms (disutilities) across multiple domains of life for both patients and their families, there is as yet no empirically informed conceptual model of these effects. Our objective was to develop an empirically informed conceptual model of perceived utility of GS that captures utilities and disutilities for patients and their families across diverse backgrounds.

Methods: We took a patient-centered approach, in which we began with a review of existing literature followed by collection of primary interview data. We conducted semi-structured interviews to explore types of utility in a clinically and sociopolitically diverse sample of 60 adults from seven Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research (CSER) consortium projects. Interviewees had either personally received, or were parents of a child who had received, GS results. Qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings from interviews were integrated with existing literature on clinical and personal utility to form the basis of an initial conceptual model that was refined based on expert review and feedback.

Results: Five key utility types that have been previously identified in qualitative literature held up as primary domains of utility and disutility in our diverse sample. Interview data were used to specify and organize subdomains of an initial conceptual model. After expert refinement, the five primary domains included in the final model are clinical, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and social, and several subdomains are specified within each.

Conclusion: We present an empirically informed conceptual model of perceived utility of GS. This model can be used to guide development of instruments for patient-centered outcome measurement that capture the range of relevant utilities and disutilities and inform clinical implementation of GS.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Emotions
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Parents* / psychology
  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Qualitative Research