Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Helping patients make informed choices

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Abstract

Using direct-to-consumer genetic testing (DTCGT), individuals can order a genetic test, collect and submit a saliva sample, and obtain results about their genetic risk for a variety of traits and health conditions without involving a healthcare provider. Potential benefits of DTCGT include personal control over genetic information and health management decisions, whereas potential risks include misinterpretation of results, psychosocial distress, and lack of informed consent. Oncology nurses can provide education, support, and advocacy to enable patients to truly understand the positives and negatives associated with DTCGT.

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