Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: where and how does genetic counseling fit?

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Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: where and how does genetic counseling fit?

Per Med. 2017 05;14(3):249-257

Authors: Middleton A, Mendes Á, Benjamin CM, Howard HC

Abstract
Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for disease ranges from well-validated diagnostic and predictive tests to ‘research’ results conferring increased risks. While being targeted at public curious about their health, they are also marketed for use in reproductive decision-making or management of disease. By virtue of being ‘direct-to-consumer’ much of this testing bypasses traditional healthcare systems. We argue that direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies should make genetic counseling available, pre- as well as post-test. While we do not advocate that mandatory genetic counseling should gate-keep access to direct-to-consumer genetic testing, if the testing process has the potential to cause psychological distress, then companies have a responsibility to provide support and should not rely on traditional healthcare systems to pick up the pieces. A video abstract is available for this article via this link .

PMID: 29767582 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]