Direct to consumer genetic testing (DTC-GT) is an emerging service that allows individuals to have their DNA tested without having to consult a healthcare provider. DTC-GT can provide insight into various aspects about an individual, including their health and ancestry. However, testing may pose privacy risks and yield distressing results. Despite the growing popularity of DTC-GT, public attitudes toward such services remain largely ill-defined. Using Amazon Mechanical Turk, we administered a web-based survey to over 1,000 individuals to obtain intuition into public attitudes about DTC-GT. Survey questions were grounded in a literature review of people’s views about DTC-GT. The results of the survey indicated that respondents were interested in DTC-GT as a possible way to gain insight about health, ancestry, and family relationships, as well as advance research. Despite this, respondents were concerned that DTC-GT companies and other users of their DTC-GT data would infringe upon their privacy.

Learning Objective: 1) Understand the services offered by direct to consumer genetic testing and learn about the policy surrounding this issue; 2) Gain insight into public attitudes towards such services, including peoples' perceived risks and benefits of undergoing at-home testing.


Grayson Ruhl (Presenter)
Vanderbilt University

James Hazel, Vanderbilt University
Ellen Clayton, Vanderbilt University
Bradley Malin, Vanderbilt University

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