Publication Abstract

Authors: Kaphingst KA, McBride CM, Wade C, Alford SH, Brody LC, Baxevanis AD

Title: Consumers' use of web-based information and their decisions about multiplex genetic susceptibility testing.

Journal: J Med Internet Res 12(3):e41-

Date: 2010 Sep 29

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Few data exist to inform concerns raised by online direct-to-consumer marketing of genetic susceptibility tests, such as those offered by commercial entities like 23andme, Navigenics, and DNA Direct. The Multiplex Initiative, a population-based study of healthy adults, provides the first opportunity to evaluate how use of a Web-based decision tool that conveyed information about a genetic susceptibility test influenced individuals' test decisions. OBJECTIVE: To inform the ongoing debate over whether individuals offered genetic susceptibility testing without the involvement of a health care provider (eg, through direct-to-consumer testing) can make informed decisions about testing when guided by online decision aids. METHODS: Participants were 526 members of a large health maintenance organization aged 25 to 40 years old who visited a study website. Multivariate logistic regression models were tested to examine the association of website usage with downstream test decisions. RESULTS: Participants viewed an average of 2.9 of the 4 pages introducing the multiplex test, 2.2 of the 8 pages describing the health conditions, and 3.2 of the 15 pages describing the genes. For each page viewed, participants were more likely to describe their decision-making as easy (odds ratio [OR] 1.04, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-1.07) and to decide to be tested (OR 1.08, 95% CI 1.05-1.11). CONCLUSIONS: Healthy adults in this study perceived Web-based genomic information presented using evidence-based communications approaches to be helpful in supporting both decisions to test and not to test. Continued research is needed to ensure that these results generalize to target groups with lower literacy and less Internet savvy.