Merogenomics Inc. recommends two genetic counseling sessions for clients who have their genomes sequenced. The first session should take place before the genome sequencing procedure; this session informs the client about the purpose of the test and its expectations. The second counseling session should follow the genome sequencing procedure and assists the client in interpreting the results of the test.
Pretest Genetic Counseling
An important function of pretest genetic counseling is to prepare the client for the possibility of incidental findings in the genome sequence and the potential psychosocial impact of such findings. Pretest genetic counseling will entail a discussion of family medical history and disease inheritance (if applicable). The counselor will point out the limitations of the genome sequencing procedure, including error rates and the need for validation of any significant findings. The counselor will explain the significance of informed consent and describe how the results of sequencing can be used for diagnostic purposes for the benefit of the client and for research that could benefit the community.
Posttest Genetic Counseling
In posttest counseling, the client can expect an analysis and interpretation of any pathogenic results that might have been uncovered. Available management resources for individuals at risk of genetic disease (including access to support groups and educational material) will be proposed. A discussion of disease risk in the context of the subject’s immediate family (including the importance of sharing the results with at risk relatives) and the potential psychological implications of such disease risk will be undertaken. The potential impact of pathogenic variants (if they have been uncovered) on future reproductive decisions will be addressed.
Merogenomics Inc. can provide access to a genetic counselor for a fee.
Counseling is provided by telephone or video; both methods have been shown to be practical alternatives to traditional face-to-face counseling.1 Counseling session is billed per one hour time slots.
- Hilgart JS, et al. 2012. Telegenetics: a systematic review of telemedicine in genetics services. Genet Med 14(9): 765-76