Patients Want Doctor's Help with Genetic Test Results
Are doctors necessary to understanding genetic test results? In this age, when DNA testing can be as simple as sending off a cheek swab to a laboratory, do people still feel the need for a doctor’s advice? This was one of the questions posed through a recent study, Public opinion on policy issues in genetics and genomics, by Dr. Almeling of Yale and Dr. Gadarian of Syracuse University.
The investigators asked more than 2,000 people their opinions on federal spending, genetic discrimination and, yes, the role of doctors in interpreting genetic results. What they found was overwhelming support for a doctor’s presence – 65% of the respondents agreed that medical professionals should be involved in interpreting results compared to only 9% who disagreed.
This question is relevant because, as a booming industry, the future of pharmacogenetics and role of private companies and physicians are still being shaped. “It is essential to know that the public supports efforts to ensure that clinicians are involved in explaining genetic test results,” say the authors.
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