Which disease and individual-based factors predict intentions to undergo whole genome sequencing?

Felicity Kiln, Alana Fisher, Ilona Juraskova

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Purpose: The past decade has seen rapid acceleration in the public’s access to Whole Genome Se- quencing (WGS) technology, however, factors that may influence a person’s decision to undergo this complex health screening have received little empirical attention. This is the first psychoso- cial study to investigate which disease and individual-based factors predict intention to undergo WGS. Methods: A total of 164 first-year university students responded to hypothetical disease scenarios (varied by disease penetrance and treatment availability) and completed self-report measures of individual factors. Results: Intention to undergo WGS was significantly higher in the presence of available treatment and high disease penetrance (p < 0.05). There was also a signifi- cant interaction between treatment and disease penetrance on intention (p < 0.001). Task self-ef- ficacy, positive outcome expectancy and attitude towards uncertainty all significantly predicted WGS intention (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Treatability and disease penetrance appear to be two dis- tinct motivations that can also interact to influence intention to pursue WGS. Task self-efficacy, positive outcome expectancies and uncertainty avoidance are likely to motivate intention to pur- sue WGS in young healthy adults. These findings will be useful in informing the optimal design of WGS psycho-educational resources and screening provider protocols.
Original languageEnglish
Article number51182
Pages (from-to)1248-1260
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2014. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Whole Genome Sequencing
  • disease penetrance
  • treatment availability
  • psychological factors
  • theoretical model


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