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Open AccessArticle

Neutral, Negative, or Negligible? Changes in Patient Perceptions of Disease Risk Following Receipt of a Negative Genomic Screening Result

1
Biomedical Ethics Research Program, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55901, USA
2
Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55901, USA
3
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55901, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm10020024
Received: 27 March 2020 / Revised: 8 April 2020 / Accepted: 14 April 2020 / Published: 17 April 2020
Most individuals who undergo genomic screening will receive negative results or results not sufficient to warrant a clinical response. Even though a majority of individuals receive negative results, little is known about how negative results may impact individuals’ perception of disease risk. Changes in risk perception (specifically reductions in perceived risk) may affect both probands and their family members if inaccurate information is communicated to family members. We surveyed patients who received negative results as part of their participation in a genomic screening study and assessed their perceptions of disease risk following receipt of results. Participants had either hyperlipidemia or colon polyps (or both) and received their negative genomic screening results by mail. Of 1712 total individuals recruited, 1442 completed the survey (84.2% completion rate). Approximately one quarter of individuals believed their risk for heart disease to be lower and approximately one third of individuals believed their risk for colon cancer to be lower after receiving and evaluating their negative genomic screening result. 78% of those who believed their risk for one or both diseases had declined had already shared or intended to share their result with family members. Our study suggests patients may interpret a negative genomic screening result as implying a reduction in their overall disease risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: genomic screening; return of results; negative results; risk perception genomic screening; return of results; negative results; risk perception
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Stuttgen, K.; Pacyna, J.; Kullo, I.; Sharp, R. Neutral, Negative, or Negligible? Changes in Patient Perceptions of Disease Risk Following Receipt of a Negative Genomic Screening Result. J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10, 24.

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