Whole exome/genome sequencing (WES/WGS) is increasingly offered to ostensibly healthy individuals. Understanding the motivations and concerns of research participants seeking out personal WGS and their preferences regarding return-of-results and data sharing will help optimize protocols for WES/WGS. Baseline interviews including both qualitative and quantitative components were conducted with research participants (n=35) in the HealthSeq project, a longitudinal cohort study of individuals receiving personal WGS results. Data sharing preferences were recorded during informed consent. In the qualitative interview component, the dominant motivations that emerged were obtaining personal disease risk information, satisfying curiosity, contributing to research, self-exploration and interest in ancestry, and the dominant concern was the potential psychological impact of the results. In the quantitative component, 57% endorsed concerns about privacy. Most wanted to receive all personal WGS results (94%) and their raw data (89%); a third (37%) consented to having their data shared to the Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP). Early adopters of personal WGS in the HealthSeq project express a variety of health- and non-health-related motivations. Almost all want all available findings, while also expressing concerns about the psychological impact and privacy of their results.
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