Test accuracy (specificity 1 and sensitivity 2): The concern is that genetic tests that may be accurate in small populations already known to be at increased risk (e.g., families with hereditary cancer) will be used on the general population (e.g., workers). In such cases, the test will likely have low predictive value or accuracy (i.e., there will be high rates of false positives and false negatives), and will thus provide misleading or false information that could be harmful for individuals, both psychosocially and in terms of continued employment and access to health or life insurance.
1Analytic specificity is the degree to which a test will return a negative result for persons who do not have the mutation; diagnostic specificity refers to the probability that the test will be negative in people without or who will not get the disease.
2Analytic sensitivity is the degree to which a test will provide a true positive result such that a person tested positive in fact has the mutation for which she is being tested;
diagnostic sensitivity refers to the probability that the test will be positive in people with or who will get the disease.
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