Physicians Increasingly Comfortable Discussing Consumer DNA Testing with Patients

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As consumer DNA testing is gaining popularity, physicians have become more comfortable discussing the result of DNA tests with their patients. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing is helping physicians to find the health-related concerns in the genome of their patients.

Physicians do not shy away from discussing with their patients the results so that they can follow up with necessary treatments. But, how did this happen? Let’s discuss this in detail.

How Physicians Become Increasingly Comfortable in Discussing Consumer DNA Testing with Patients

In just two years, the health sector has undergone a significant change that made physicians much more accepting to embrace genetic testing. Let’s discuss how did this happen and what benefits does it bring.

Discussion of Genetic Results

The collaboration of 23andMe and Medscape has shown in a study that the comfort level of physicians has doubled when it comes to discussing the results of DNA tests with their patients.

About 1000 physicians were surveyed to understand their comfort level while performing genetic testing and what their thought-process is regarding the direct-to-consumer genetic health testing. Compared to 2018 results, studies found that physicians would like to discuss the limitations, risks, and benefits of genetic testing with their patients.

Recommendations by Physicians

About 80% of physicians recommend openly direct-to-consumer genetic testing for health. In contrast, the other 61% require health reports of FDA oversight before going for direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

It shows how much awareness has been increased about the importance of genetic testing in the primary care atmosphere. The test results have more significant implications and utility on the patient treatment and care.

Recommended Next Steps after Testing

Physicians are now comfortable while making recommendations regarding specialists when it comes to all the testing in addition to direct-to-consumer tests. Compared to 2018 results, there is a two-fold increase in the comfort level of physicians on making such referral recommendations and treatment choices.

The survey also shows how direct-to-consumer testing has evolved over the last decade.  Now, over 71% of primary care physicians are comfortable making referrals and openly discussing genetic information.

How it Changed Over Time

The Impact of Personal Genomics Study Group revealed in a study that about 11 percent of physicians are cynical of direct-to-consumer genetic testing four years ago. The study also revealed that 22% of physicians lack sufficient knowledge in the field and the other 22% of physicians are not interested in their test results.

But, after the completion of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, the physicians find themselves more comfortable and confident discussing the DNA testing results.

Final Thoughts

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing caught the attention of many primary care physicians in the health sector. Since its beginning, most of the physicians were not prepared to discuss the results of genetic testing with the patients.

Now the table has turned, and physicians are coming forward to discuss the implication of testing openly with their patients. It has now become a daily routine of the physician’s clinical workflow.

Lauren Author

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