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The University of Southampton
Macmillan Survivorship Research Group

Incidental findings (IFs) from genetic tests: exploring the ethical issues and implications for practice

NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship awarded to Gillian Crawford, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton
Supervisors: Prof Anneke Luccassen, Dr Claire Foster, Dr Tara Clancy

Genetic testing techniques have advanced enormously over the past few decades. It is now possible to examine large portions of a person’s genetic code at costs manageable to routine NHS services. As well as diagnosing the cause of specific clinical signs and symptoms, or family histories of disease, such genetic testing will also at times find entirely unexpected, but clinical relevant information about a person, such as a future disease likelihood. This research fellowship aims to gain an empirical and ethical insight into the experiences and attitudes of healthcare users and professionals towards incidental findings (IFs) from genetic testing, using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. This together with an analysis of relevant literature will provide novel insights into the practical and ethical issues surrounding IFs in genetic practice and allow the development of guidance on how practice should evolve as technologies increase the likelihood of IFs.

If you have any queries regarding this study please contact the MSRG secretary on 02380 596885, or email

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