Most professional guidelines recommend against genetic screening for adult-onset only conditions until adulthood, yet others argue there may be benefit to disclosing such results. We explored parents' decision-making on this issue in the BabySeq Project, a clinical trial of newborn genomic sequencing.
We conducted interviews with parents (n=24) who were given the option to receive actionable adult-onset only results for their children. Interviews explored parents' motivations to receive and reasons to decline adult-onset only genetic disease risk information, their decision-making process, and their suggestions for supporting parents in making this decision.
Parents noted several motivations to receive and reasons to decline adult-onset only results. Most commonly, parents cited early intervention/surveillance (n=11), implications for family heath (n=7), and the ability to prepare (n=6) as motivations to receive these results. The most common reasons to decline were protection of the child's future autonomy (n=4), negative impact on parenting (n=3), and anxiety about future disease (n=3). Parents identified a number of ways to support parents in making this decision.
Results demonstrate considerations to better support parental decision-making that aligns with their values when offering adult-onset only genetic information as it is more commonly integrated into pediatric clinical care.