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Most consumers want predictive tests to learn if a disease is in their future
Date:1/7/2011

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The randomized, population-based internet survey presented participants with the option to take a hypothetical predictive blood test for one of the four diseases, understanding that the test would not be covered by insurance. Participants were asked how much they would be willing to pay for a test that could predict their disease. Some respondents were asked about a 'perfectly accurate' test, and others about an 'imperfect' one. They were also queried about their socioeconomic information, health status, risk attitudes and behaviors, and likely actions after receiving a positive test result.

The advancing field of in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) includes an increasing number of clinical laboratory tests that offer the hope of personalized screening to assess an individual's risk of developing certain diseases based on genetic markers found in blood or tissue samples.

According to Neumann, the growing use of predictive testing worldwide has resulted in increasing demands for evidence that demonstrates the value of such tests. Health technology assessment groups typically measure the utility of diagnostic tests in terms such as increased accuracy of test results, cost-effectiveness, or improved health outcomes for patients. But assessing the value of predictive testing may also require the use of new or different measures. In the Tufts Medical Center study, the researchers also found:

  • Income and disease type impact willingness to pay. The amount of money patients were willing to pay out of pocket for tests increased with income levels, and was significantly higher for breast and prostate cancer and Alzheimer's disease than for arthritis.
  • Gender, age, and education influence test participation. About 24% of individuals sampled elected not to take the predictive test. Generally, older respondents, women, those with a bachelor's or higher degree, and those with healthier behaviors were less inclined to undergo testing
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Contact: Caitlin Hool
caitlin.hool@gabbe.com
212-220-4444
InHealth: The Institute for Health Technology Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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