In this paper, you will discussion direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing by comparing websites for companies that market clinical testing for consumers. Private companies run the personal genomics websites listed below.
Review the DNA specific information for the websites. Discussion the advantages and disadvantages of consumers having direct access to this kind of genetic information.
My Heritage DNA
My living DNA
For this assignment you will do the following:
A title and reference page are required and are not included in the page count.
This assignment should be written in APA format.
A minimum of 3 peer-reviewed references are required. References must be current, published within the last five years, and from the United States. (Your text book may be used as a source but does not count toward the 3 required references). The sites that you choose are also not considered scholarly sources.
An abstract is not required for this writing assignment.
See rubric in other attachment
Consumer DNA testing has finally gone mainstream, and the expectation is that the market will continue to keep booming. The growth has been attributed by the interest that consumers are developing of taking control of their health care plus now the regulations are giving them the ability to do so. Initially, there were wrangles with the FDA like in the case of 23andMe where they had been banned from using DNA testing to inform their consumers if they are in the risk of contracting certain diseases. This ban was lifted after 23andMe worked to prove that their tests were accurate. Genetic ancestry testing is enabled by examining DNA variations that help to provide clues on an individual’s ancestors coming from families (Ostergren et al., 2015). The more patterns of variations that people typically share, the closer they are related.
Comparison of Websites Chosen
The DNA websites chosen for comparison are 23andMe and My Heritage DNA. Both websites provide their consumers with ancestry information. 23andMe offers 35+[cmppp_restricted] reports that include ancestry composition, maternal haplogroup, ancestry detail reports, Neanderthal ancestry, paternal haplogroup, DNA relative finder tool and DNA family. My Heritage DNA, on the other hand, does not specify the kind of reports that they offer. However, they assert that through their tests consumers will be able to identify their unique heritage, the geographic regions and ethnic groups that they originate from.
23andMe goes further to provide consumers with information on their health predispositions, wellness, traits, and carrier status. Health predisposition provides information on whether an individual had genetic markers that are likely to influence the chances of developing some health conditions. Wellness, on the other hand, provides information on one’s wellbeing. The DNA provides the story of one’s lifestyle and environment. The information from the website helps consumers to know how their DNA relates lactose digestion, muscle type and caffeine consumption. Information on carrier status, on the other hand, will be helpful on consumers to help understand their status so that they can work with the doctor to help prepare for their future family’s health. Traits reports, on the other hand, provide information that helps consumers find the likelihood of having certain characteristics. The information provided to consumers can help show how their taste, hair color and preferences among other things are affected by their DNA.
-This information promotes awareness among relevant consumers regarding varied genetic diseases. This is something that gives the consumers the ability to be proactive as they can now make lifestyle changes like exercise and diet based on the testing results (Ostergren et al, 2015). This is something that is likely to improve their life span.
-Consumers have access personalized access to information regarding their disease risk, health and other traits. This is information that they can share with their physicians and get advice on the way forward to help improve the inherent health issues.
-Obtaining genetic testing information is relatively cheap on the side of the consumers compared to instances where is it obtained through healthcare providers. As a result, many consumers can afford to obtain such information.
-Access to ancestry information can be beneficial for consumers that are trying to track their families that they were separated with at some point for varied reasons.
-The data obtained from this testing is normally added in a large database and as a result, can be used in extended medical research (Van der Wouden et al., 2016). This is beneficial to consumers in that it can result in the identification of ways of dealing with some diseases that have been problematic in the past.
-The tests are limited for certain health conditions that are normally stated in these websites. Consumers cannot obtain health information on different traits that interest them as a result.
-It is not possible for the information being provided to definitively tell whether a consumer will get a particular disease or not.
-Some of the unexpected information that an individual receives regarding their health, ancestry or family relationships might end up being upsetting or stressful (Roberts et al., 2017). Overthinking the information might result to even other serious health issues.
-Consumers are likely to make vital decisions regarding disease prevention or treatment based on inaccurate, misunderstood or incomplete information from the test results.
-The information is also likely to hinder an individual’s ability to obtain long-term care, disability, or life insurance.
Nursing Implication and Patient Teaching
The nursing implication associated with direct-to-consumer testing is that consumers will turn to nurse practitioners to help interpret the test results and offer guidance of how to use the results for health or medical decision making (Roberts et al., 2017). As a result, nurse practitioners will have the need of constantly updating their practice skills to help respond to the advances in genomic technology that tend to create varied expectations among patients.
The patient teaching that nurses can offer those using these websites would include even the selection of the most appropriate websites to use. Patients can be taught on choosing the websites based on how explicit they are in outlining the services they offer and the methodology being used including sample reports. Presence of experienced genetics professionals is also an important factor in case a patient has questions regarding the test results (Van der Wouden et al., 2016). The company should be also be explaining the genetic variations been tested and the kind of laboratory being used.
Ostergren, J., Gornick, M., Carere, D., Kalia, S., Uhlmann, W., & Ruffin, M. et al. (2015). How Well Do Customers of Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomic Testing Services Comprehend Genetic Test Results? Findings from the Impact of Personal Genomics Study. Public Health Genomics, 18(4), 216-224. doi: 10.1159/000431250
Roberts, J., Gornick, M., Carere, D., Uhlmann, W., Ruffin, M., & Green, R. (2017). Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: User Motivations, Decision Making, and Perceived Utility of Results. Public Health Genomics, 20(1), 36-45. doi: 10.1159/000455006
Van der Wouden, C., Carere, D., Maitland-van der Zee, A., Ruffin, M., Roberts, J., & Green, R. (2016). Consumer Perceptions of Interactions With Primary Care Providers After Direct-to-Consumer Personal Genomic Testing. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 164(8), 513. doi: 10.7326/m15-0995 [/cmppp_restricted]