Am J Hum Genet. 2020 Nov 5;107(5):953-962. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.10.004.


Rapid diagnostic genomic sequencing recently became feasible for infants in intensive care units (ICUs). However, research regarding parents’ perceived utility, adequacy of consent, and potential harms and benefits is lacking. Herein we report results of parental surveys of these domains from the second Newborn Sequencing in Genomic Medicine and Public Health (NSIGHT2) study, a randomized, controlled trial of rapid diagnostic genomic sequencing of infants in regional ICUs. More than 90% of parents reported feeling adequately informed to consent to diagnostic genomic sequencing. Despite only 23% (27) of 117 infants receiving genomic diagnoses, 97% (156) of 161 parents reported that testing was at least somewhat useful and 50.3% (88/161) reported no decisional regret (median 0, mean 10, range 0-100). Five of 117 families (4.3%) reported harm. Upon follow-up, one (1%) confirmed harm to child and parent related to negative results/no diagnosis, two (2%) reported stress or confusion, and two (2%) denied harm. In 81% (89) of 111 infants, families and clinicians agreed that genomic results were useful. Of the families for whom clinicians perceived harm from genomic testing, no parents reported harm. Positive tests/genomic diagnosis were more frequently perceived to be useful by parents, to benefit their infant, and to help manage potential symptoms (p < .05). In summary, the large majority of parents felt that first-tier, rapid, diagnostic genomic sequencing was beneficial for infants lacking etiologic diagnoses in ICUs. Most parents in this study perceived being adequately informed to consent, understood their child’s results, and denied regret or harm from undergoing sequencing.

PMID:33157008 | PMC:PMC7675003 | DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.10.004