Patients forget the results of tests

Patients forget the results of tests for inheritable genetic disorders, a new study has found. Three years after being tested for cystic fibrosis, 20 per cent of carriers and half of those with a negative test result could not remember their result, according to a report in The Lancet. Screening for genetic disorders is carried out so that prospective parents can make informed decisions about having a family.

Of those diagnosed as carriers, 16 per cent incorrectly thought a positive test result meant they were "likely" to be a carrier. Of those who had a negative result, 50 per cent thought they were definitely not a carrier.

The paper says ante-natal screening would avoid anxiety from diagnostic uncertainty and allow test results to be fresh in the minds of a couple planning a family.

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