Patients and non-specialist healthcare professionals are increasingly expected to understand and interpret the results of genetic or genomic testing. These results are currently reported using a variety of templates, containing different amounts, levels, and layouts of information. We set out to establish a set of recommendations for communicating genetic test results to non-expert readers. We employed a qualitative-descriptive study design with user-centred design principles, including a mixture of in-person semi-structured interviews and online questionnaires with patients, healthcare professionals and the general public. The resulting recommendations and example template include providing at-a-glance comprehension of what the test results mean for the patient; suggested next steps; and details of further information and support. Separation and inclusion of technical methodological details enhances non-specialists’ understanding, while retaining important information for specialists and the patients’ records. The recommendations address the high-level needs of patients and their non-specialist clinicians when receiving genetic test results. These recommendations provide a solid foundation for the major content and structure of reports, and we recommend further engagement with patients and clinicians to tailor reports to specific types of test and results.
- Human behaviour
- Patient education