3 years ago

Experiences of patients seeking to participate in variant of uncertain significance reclassification research

Sukh Makhnoon, Deborah J. Bowen, Wylie Burke, Brian H. Shirts, Lauren Thomas Garrett


Patients’ understanding of a genetic variant of unknown clinical significance (VUS) is likely to influence beliefs about risk implications, consequent medical decisions, and other actions such as involvement in research. We interviewed 26 self-selected participants with a clinically identified VUS before they enrolled into a VUS reclassification study. Semi-structured interviews addressed topics including motivation to get genetic test, experience with the VUS result, affective responses to receiving VUS, and perceived effect of VUS and reclassification on medical care. We found that family and personal history of disease were the most prevalent motivators for getting a genetic test. Participants demonstrated mixed understanding of VUS. Most expressed negative effect on learning of their VUS result and uncertainty about its impact on clinical management. Most expected reclassification efforts to benefit their family members but not themselves. Some expressed distrust of their providers following a VUS result. Participation in the VUS reclassification study appeared to be motivated by four factors for patients with VUS—negative effect about VUS, uncertainty about its impact on clinical management, concern for family members’ well-being, and to advance science. Perhaps the direct acknowledgement and appraisal of uncertainty as a means of coping was missing in some pre-test counseling experienced by our participants and thus they were not psychologically prepared for atypical VUS results. The finding of VUS-induced provider distrust suggests a need for careful consideration of appropriate pre- and post-test counseling about VUS.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12687-018-0375-3

DOI: 10.1007/s12687-018-0375-3

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.