Perceptions of predictive testing for those at risk of developing a chronic inflammatory disease: a meta-synthesis of qualitative studies

Kerin Bayliss, Karim Raza, Gwenda Simons, Marie Falahee, Mats Hansson, Bella Starling, Rebecca Stack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The availability of tests to predict the risk of developing chronic diseases is increasing. The identification of individuals at high risk of disease can trigger early intervention to reduce the risk of disease and its severity. In order for predictive tests to be accepted and used by those at risk, there is a need to understand people's perceptions of predictive testing.
Method: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research that explored patient and public perceptions of predictive testing for chronic inflammatory diseases was conducted. Studies were coded by researchers and patient research partners, and then organised into common themes associated with the acceptability or use of predictive testing.
Results: Perceived barriers to predictive testing were identified including a concern about a lack of confidentiality around the use of risk information; a lack of motivation for change; poor communication of information; and a possible impact on emotional wellbeing. In order to reduce these barriers, the literature shows that a patient centred approach is required at each stage of the testing process. This includes the consideration of individual needs such as accessibility and building motivation for change; readily available and easy to understand pre- and post-test information; support for patients on how to deal with the implications of their results; and the development of condition specific lifestyle intervention programmes to facilitate sustainable lifestyle changes.
Conclusion: Patients and members of the public had some concerns about predictive testing, however, a number of strategies to reduce barriers and increase acceptability are available. Further research is required to inform the development of a resource that supports the individual to make an informed decision about whether to engage in a predictive test, what test results mean, and how to access post-test support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-189
JournalJournal of Risk Research
Issue number2
Early online date11 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Chronic disease; predictive testing; perceptions; risk; qualitative research; synthesis


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